Sometimes I Shave My Chin


I know I’m not the only one.

A couple years ago I saw a video of Jenny McCarthy shaving her chin and upper lip – shaving cream and all.  “I am you and you are me!” is the comment I left on that video.



So yeah… last night I was taking a shower and – as I do every single time I take a shower – I took the shaver to my chin.  Nice and gentle.  Two or three little swipes along the bottom of my chinny chin chin.


In a fraction of a second the skin on my chin went from wound-free to dripping with blood.  There was an instant stream flowing from my face to the shower floor.  This wasn’t just a small shaver nick.  It was an intense, serious wound and OH, did it sting when the water hit it!

Jody hates it when I bleed.  It’s so preventable.

“You have a razor on your face.  Slow down, for crying out loud!” he said after the bloodbath last night.  “Promise me something.  No more shaving your face.  Ever again.  We’ll find you somewhere to get your chin hairs waxed.”  Then we sat on the couch and watched an entire episode of “Tracker” while I held a kleenex tightly to the wound, hoping the pressure would stop the bleeding.

It didn’t.

Finally I put some antibacterial gel and a bandaid on it, went to bed, and hoped for the best.

Think of when you lost someone very close to you.  (If you haven’t yet, you’re very blessed.)  Or when you received the news that someone very close to you was diagnosed with a terminal disease.  In that moment, it’s a lot like having wound-free skin and then – in the blink of an eye – there’s blood streaming from your face.




Yeah, because you didn’t expect your quick little chin shave to turn into something akin to a crime scene.

Getting the news that Nick’s cancer was most likely far too advanced to treat was like eight hundred shavers ripping the skin on my body all at once.

When I was writing “Their Wings Caught the Sun,” it was very challenging to adequately describe how it felt to get that news.  How it felt to watch my brand new husband age fifty years in five months.  How it felt to watch them wheel him out of the front door on a stretcher and into an ambulance that took him to the hospice center.

How it felt.

Finally, I decided that words simply could not describe that feeling.  So I started sketching and doodling and lettering and water color painting to help visually convey how my heart and mind and soul felt when we got Nick’s cancer diagnosis and when he died just ten months after our wedding.






You really only know the feeling if you have felt it.

But the art pages, as I came to call them, that I did for each chapter of my book really helped me to make some impossible-to-explain feelings just a touch more understandable to my readers.

The biggest OUCH that hit when Nick died was loneliness.  A loneliness that felt like I might be right at the entrance to hell.  (Apologies.  But I’m not going to mince words.)  I stayed with my family who was two hours away for two weeks after the funeral and that was so very needed and so very healing.  But then… I came home.

I knew fully well that God was with me, that He was carrying me and collecting my tears in His bottle.

Still, I couldn’t see Him next to me.  I couldn’t hold His hand.  I couldn’t look into His eyes and pour out my grief to Him.  I couldn’t exhale a little breath of relief and comfort as He walked in my front door and wrapped His arms around me.

As I explain in the book, at the time of Nick’s death we had only lived in our home for a few months.  We did not know any neighbors yet.  None.  I had work friends but they had their own busy lives, and I had Nick’s dad and his girlfriend but they were grieving bitterly, too.  Being in that house alone for five minutes was excruciating, much less days and days in a row.  This was a loneliness that I had not previously known was humanly possible.  I remember wishing I could go to the Walgreens or Dairy Queen across the street and ask a random stranger to please – please – keep me company for awhile.


I was profoundly, indescribably desperate for companionship.

Not to come over and play Scrabble or do face masks or cook dinner.  Just to BE WITH ME.  To sit in the family room with me and just BE.  Didn’t matter what we were doing.  Please someone just BE with me.

But nobody did.

Because I walked through that horrific loneliness, I have decided to do a thing.  I want to find people who are missing someone terribly – people who feel like they have very few people who will just BE with them – and I want to offer my company.  I want to tell them that I get it.  That I’ve been exactly where they are.  I’m not sure what it’s going to look like just yet – probably a coffee at Starbucks or a bench in the park.  I’ll listen if they want to talk or be quiet if they want to be quiet.  I’ll sit with a box of kleenex on my lap and probably sympathy-cry with them if they need to cry.  I’ll encourage them to tell me about their lost loved one – what they were like, favorite memories, silly quirks.

I want to be who I didn’t have. 

Call it a social experiment.  An act of kindness.  A need being filled.  Whatever you want to call it – I’m going to do it and write about it here on my blog.

If you happen to be local to me (Green Bay, WI) and are someone or know someone who needs a little bit of company from time to time due to losing someone they dearly loved, please reach out to me so I can get in touch with them.  You can comment on this blog post and I’ll contact you personally to get more details.

Dear God, please send me the specific people whose hearts feel like my heart felt.  Use me to be Your hands and feet, to bring the profound comfort of companionship to their lonely, devastated hearts.  I will follow Your lead.

In Jesus’ Name,








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