Recent Articles by Carlene Cross

Choosing Joy
One night, as I studied the ghoul in the mirror, I heard Jason’s voice and I realized I needed to honor my son’s life. The most respectful thing I could do was to find joy again.
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The Parents Behind the Forces
I remember the evening of October 31, 2003. I rushed down a rainy Seattle street late for the theater. In the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the Seattle Times on the newsstand. The front page read, “National Guard brigade ordered to serve in Iraq.” Throughout the show, I prayed I had misread the headline.
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Gold Star Mom Reflects on Her Hero’s Journey
September 22, 2016 – I remember the day my son, Jason, walked into my Seattle kitchen and propped his long athletic body against the counter. He had reenlisted and came to tell me he was returning to Afghanistan, this time, stationed in the Hindu Kush mountains. “How did you get that assignment?” I asked.  “I asked to be sent where the fighting was,” he said. “Mom, I don’t have any children, if I go there, maybe I can take the place of some father.”
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“Choose Forgiveness “
July 13, 2008 started out like any other Sunday. But a knock at the door changed everything.
I looked through the peephole, clouded by years of Seattle rain, to see two blurry figures clenching clipboards to their chests. “Solicitors,” I thought as I stepped back, waiting for them to leave. They moved alongside the house.
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“Where Did That Girl Go? “
Carlene Cross writes about our identity as we grow older in “Where Did That Girl Go?  I had always been physically strong – my father subscribed to the notion that one good Montana farm kid could do the work of a strapping cowboy any sweltering afternoon.
The article starts on page 12.
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“Reviving the Quest for Life”
Carlene writes about “Reviving the Quest for Life”.  In his recent single, “Mystic Highway,” John Fogerty reminisces about his life of travel and adventure. I imagined such a life, seeing faraway places – Woodstock and Radio City Music Hall, touring Europe – I vowed to live like Fogarty . . .
The Article Begins on Page 6
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A Mother’s Story
A Mother’s search for peace after the death of her son in Afghanistan. In this article, Carlene shares her journey of how she released her anger and resentment after the death of her son, Jason, and how she learned that forgiveness is liberating. The article can be found on page 22 of the magazine or page 11 of the PDF.
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Defending the Secular State
As a refugee from the Religious Right, Carlene Cross looks back on the upbringing and the education that led her to marry a man who became a minister in a religiously conservative, fundamentalist church. Daring and controversial, her memoir provides a clear-eyed look at how bigotry and intolerance can become the tools of religious dogma, and how the fundamentalist zeal threatens to undermine the basic foundations of American political and religious freedoms.
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