Remembering President Kennedy


 Eternal flame at John F. Kennedy’s gravesite


This past week many news articles and TV specials have featured memories of President Kennedy on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.  My debut book, CRAZY, being released by Eerdmans in Fall 2014, is set in 1963.  The assassination of President Kennedy had a profound effect on me personally, as well as my protagonist, Laura Walberg. In the book, Laura’s sister has just lost a baby and Laura’s mother teeters on the brink of another bipolar episode.  This excerpt depicts the impact of a national tragedy on an already fragile household.




Diane, Beth and I meet at the lockers

and walk out together.

Our breath forms little puffy clouds

as our nervous chatter hits the cold, crisp air.

On any other day, bets on the first

snow might have been the talk.


Is he alive?

Is he dead?

How did it happen?

Who did it?


Everyone is anxious to get home,

turn on the TV and get the details

that have so interrupted

our morning, our lives.


I picture Beth walking into the warmth

of her cluttered house, Mrs. Watson

checking on something sweet baking

in the oven before sitting down

in front of the TV with an unfinished

sewing project in her lap.


I imagine Mrs. Vance’s planning

for the Girl Scout banquet

or her progress on one of Diane’s

newest outfits will be interrupted

while she tunes in the TV.


I wish I could follow either of them

to their homes that won’t threaten to implode

under the weight of such terrible news.


I’m anxious

about how much tragedy

our family,

my mother,

can absorb.



Hey READERS, we would love to hear from you.

Is your MIND FULL of old thoughts or new?  















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