Two Jasons

Two Jasons with family

A quick update on my two Jasons.  Jason #1, father of two in Vergennes, Vermont, (middle guy in picture to the right) was bit by a brown recluse spider. Honestly, this doesn’t happen in Vermont.  In Florida, yes.  In Texas, yes.  But not in Vermont.  While he was in the ER, every doctor in the area stopped by to see his bite.  They’d never seen one for real unless they were from the south.  Anyway, Jason is doing okay, not fabulous….still in pain, still not really on the mend but hanging in there.

And Jason #2,(on the left, red shirt)college kid living in Andover, Massachusetts, home for the summer, working hard at Firehouse Subs, socking away money for next year, is home too.  He’s in terrible pain and it’s going to be a long road back but the kid is tough.  It just won’t be the summer he planned on.  He needs to be able to get back to the things he loves like hiking in New Hampshire.

Yep, you blink and everything you planned on disappears and life suddenly lurches off in a different direction.  Keep both of them in your prayers.  They are some of the best, most beautiful people I know.

Books…I read a couple lately that I have to share. The first was Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I’m not in love with Jodi Picoult.  Every now and then I give one a try and get impatient with her “cheap shots”, weird twists at the end that you can count on.  Still, you’ve got to hand it to her. She isn’t afraid to tackle tough subjects and she researches her topics well.  This was no exception.  And she got some things so right…at least I think she did.  And I think that she’s done a good thing for all of us.  We all can’t help but “get” white privilege after reading this book.  She lays it out perfectly.  And she helped me understand how someone could belong to one of those far right, racist, neo-Nazi hate groups and still be human.  Yes, for all its flaws, this book was a good one and I’m glad I read it.

The other one…The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs was one I probably should have saved for a time when I wasn’t feeling so fragile.  I had read a couple reviews on it…”This year’s When Breath Becomes Air” and I immediately put it on reserve at the library.  Nina Riggs was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 37.  It was just a little spot.  Except that it grew instead of going away.  And metastasized and she died at 39, leaving behind a husband and two little boys.  This book was her memoir and honestly, I loved it.  The woman can write and write beautifully.  The book reads like poetry, like music.  She figured out how to live when it was very clear she didn’t have much time left.  And she was so honest about what she thought and felt and did.  Yes, I loved this book….even more than When Breath Becomes Air.

So now I’m reading A Nun on the Bus about Sister Simone Campbell who was one of those nuns that Pope Benedict was talking about when he came down hard on American nuns and whose endorsement of the ACA helped get it through Congress and who is lobbying still for decent health care for everyone.  Amazing woman…still going strong.

Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Enjoy every minute of the day (and night if you’re heading out for fireworks!)

Love to all




7 thoughts on “Two Jasons

  1. Wendie Highsmith

    Mary-Good to have the Jasons update. Fingers crossed for smooth recoveries.

    Agree totally on Small Great Things. Visited the Whitney Plantation while in New Orleans last week for general assembly of Unitarian Universalists. Only plantation that tells the slave story without blinking. Memorials to thousands of slaves whose first names have been found through arduous research. They didn’t have last names. The treatment of slaves is such a black eye on our country’s history we have mostly chosen to ignore.

    I am now reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Not easy stuff.


  2. Deirdre Christman

    When I got to the end of this post, I realized I’d missed the previous one about Jason cutting his foot. Horrific! I’m so sorry I didn’t see it in time to send you some TLC. Of course you’re fragile right now, and these awful, out-of-the-blue injuries are just piling on the sadness and anxiety. But through your writing you seem to find a way to get through the pain and connect with everyone who needs your support at the same time. So, belatedly, I’m sending you some love.

  3. Barbara Garton

    Brown Recluse Spider. Oh my . . . not one to fool around with.

  4. Happy Independence Day, Mary and Jerry. You are truly blessed. You are tested all the time but you are still grateful. Namaste’ (I honor your spirit).

  5. Mary, hello! My prayers are with your family as you all continue to meet life’s challenges. I always read your blogs and feel blessed that we are still in touch! Can you believe it has been 2 years since the Eistla?? Also, I have started my own website/blog and invite you to follow! The website is and the blog is MOATET: Musings of a traveling English teacher 🙂
    The blog comes through on a tab on the website but you can access directly if you prefer. Thanks for looking and commenting when you can!! Please say hi to Jerry for me, and keep writing!! Love, Becky
    P.S. Mom is on a 2-week cruise to Alaska.. nothing stops her 🙂

  6. Praying for both Jasons I miss my friends very very much . Hope al else is well much love . Paula

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. Glad to hear everyone is in the mend – continue to take good care of you too.
    PS congrats to Sean!

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