I was raised in a family where military service was praised and celebrated as part of our history. My maternal grandfather, a general practice physician, served in the South Pacific during World War II and my father spent several tours in the Navy, one during the…Continue
Added by Michelle Linn-Gust on May 28, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments
Early this morning on my run-walk with my dog Chaco, I asked that I not miss any signs that my deceased loved ones are with me in my daily life. After taking Chaco home, I went back out with Nestle and Hattie (mornings are a succession of all four dogs getting their run-walks after my run without them) and as we were running along, my thoughts completely elsewhere by that time, I happened to look ahead and saw that I was about to step on a butterfly. I stopped short and managed to miss the…Continue
While I spent three years in Muncie, Ind., attending Ball State University, I never drove in the town until the past three days. And for three days, I constantly missed my turns. While I realize I don’t remember much of my last year there (following my sister’s suicide and then the death of my maternal grandmother seven months later), it was baffling to me that I consistently remembered things opposite of how they really are. This included where the bathroom is in the home of “adopted” mom…Continue
I pulled out the blue spiral notebook where I journaled from 1991 to 1994, my Ball State University years. Tomorrow I will drive the 239 or so miles to Muncie, IN, where I did my undergraduate work in journalism. I haven’t been there in almost ten years, shortly after 9-11, when I lectured as part of the journalism department’s Professional-in-Residence series.
I’m not sure what I was looking for when I opened up the journal but it was much more painful to read than I…Continue
Added by Michelle Linn-Gust on May 16, 2011 at 3:34pm — No Comments
After dropping off some books at a local bookstore here in Naperville, I had about fifteen minutes with nothing to do before my next errand. I thought I would take a walk and headed over to Riverwalk. At what was once the east end of the Riverwalk, there is a fountain. Earlier that morning on my run I had found a penny and now as I walked by the fountain, I found another one. I knew that this penny belonged in the fountain although I’m not sure if someone missed when throwing it in or if it…Continue
Added by Michelle Linn-Gust on May 14, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments
I grew up swimming in a former limestone quarry. Centennial Beach in my hometown of Naperville, Ill., had been converted from quarry to oversized recreation area in the 1930s (to celebrate the town’s centennial). Just over a mile from my childhood home, it was better than any neighborhood swimming pool because of its large size.
I wasn’t much of a swimmer in my younger years. While I had swimming lessons, I just wasn’t very strong and taking the deep water test…Continue
For many years, the sign of my sister’s presence was the song “Rodeo” by Garth Brooks. In the last months before her death, she had given a speech in class and had sung part of that song. It’s the only video we have of her.
As long as I listened to country music stations, I usually was assured I would hear the song. Eventually, though, I returned to Top 40. Then, several summers ago as I was driving through Malibu, California, along the ocean on Pacific Coast…Continue
I was struggling with something on Saturday, debating whether or not it should remain in my life. It was one of those times where I couldn’t figure out on my own which way it should go. While I believe that faith is essential for us to trust the unknown journey ahead, I needed reassurance about something. When I went to church that evening, I asked for that help. I wasn’t sure what kind of sign I would get to let me know how to move forward but I asked anyway.
Added by Michelle Linn-Gust on May 8, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments
Mother’s Day with my family wasn’t just about Mom. It was about Grandma Linn and Grandma Zurawski, too. Because my grandparents lived at the opposite ends of Chicago, we usually saw Grandma Linn on Saturday and then gathered with the other side of the family and Grandma Zurawski on Sunday. My sister Denise and I often drew cards and pictures for our mom but also for our grandmothers, in particular Grandma Zurawski simply because we saw her more often.
But I didn’t get to know…Continue