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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Holding Out for A Hero(ine)

I'm really so sad about this man in the news.
As you might know from this post we are obsessed with the Olympics. When Mr. Pistorius ran in London this summer, all five of us cheered until our voices cracked. I cried when I heard the humility and grace with which he handled the press.

And now he is accused of murder.

Mitch was absolutely frantic for an explanation. "Maybe he thought there was a bad guy in his house, Mom. I'll bet that's it. He probably thought he had to protect himself." 

I so, so hope he's right.

This whole thing made me start thinking about heroes, how precious they can be, how much light they can bring to a kid looking for inspiration and hope.

Here's one of mine.
Tracey O. Here she is gamely posing with the photo of a man who we wanted her to marry. She wisely did not, though she did humor a group of junior high girls by holding his photo and a fake bouquet. Note: 1989 was a rough year for hair. Tracey succumbed to the mullet, and darn it, I did too.
Note the height. And the floral turtleneck. I was VERY CONFIDENT in this ensemble. Teal gave me confidence back then. Teal and lots of White Rain.

So Tracey was a youth group worker at my church and she spent hours upon hours with me, mentoring me, laughing with me, praying with me. She taught me how to survive a shaving cream fight, how to laugh and ski down a hill at the same time, what to treasure in a friendship, and how to pick a good husband. She did it all, people.

I owe her. I look at my own kids and pray they will find a Tracey to guide them through the rough waters of middle school and high school. I'm planning on being here, too, but there's just something about a non-parent mentor, right?

Thanks, Trace. You're the rock star of rock stars. A heroine in the most complete, human sense of the word. I'm such a fuller, wiser, kinder person for having walked beside you. May the God you taught me to love rain down blessings on you for the gift you are to me. 

(And may we never, ever give in to the temptation of a mullet again.)


  1. You did not have a mullet. I adore you for sharing that picture. How marvelous.

  2. TIME magazine did an interesting job of explaining the culture from which Oscar Pistorius comes. Should be recommended reading for all of us from the [relatively] safe USA. No judgment... just cultural differences. Meantime, I remember the hairdo... and hope, too, that there is a Tracey out there for all those who need her!

  3. Cecily is right. My husband is from S. Africa, and it is a completely different mindset. Tragically, this sort of thing happens all.the.time. We just don't hear about it in the US until it happens to a celebrity. Tragically, a little girl died just last month as her father shot a gun through a bedroom door, thinking it was an intruder intent on harming his family. He was horrified when he opened the door, thinking he was protecting his family, and found his daughter instead. The constant fear of an intruder coming into your home at night and killing your entire family is very real, and very possible.

  4. I was just going to mention that article in Time. It doesn't diminish my horror and anger at what happened, and I can't speculate on his guilt or innocence. But it did make me think.

  5. Thanks for the recommendation to read the Time article, girls. Marc and I have been listening to the BBC's coverage of the Pistorius case and I agree: we in many parts of the US have a vastly different idea of safety within our homes and the perceived need to protect our families. I pray, pray that this was, in fact, a tragic mistaken identity. The other option makes me sick to my stomach.

    As for the mullet, yes, Makila, I'm afraid that's just what it is. Curled and sprayed but a mullet all the same. I felt as cute as Alyssa Milano in it. Eat your heart out, Tony Danza.