Category: On Family

  • A second opinion

    My middle daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis three years ago. For two years we simply monitored it every six months because the doctor believed she was nearing the end of her skeletal growth. Then she shot up five inches (overnight?) and the minor curve grew alarming. A Boston brace was ordered. I cringed in sympathetic […]

  • Tackling the Bonus Question

    6. When have you felt that you transcended time and space? Well, there are times when I cultivate such a feeling, and times when it happens without trying. Since the ones that happen on their own are more interesting, I’ll mention one of those. Most recently I think it was when I was in Dominica […]

  • Ten Things You May Not Know About Me

    I’ve been resisting this meme for several reasons, mostly because I can’t think of ten interesting things about myself that I want to share. But thanks to my friend Cliff, who tagged me, I’ll try: 1. I am always hungry. I love food. It’s one of my great pleasures. I will eat virtually anything… so […]

  • Home

    I am home after nine days in the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area. We spent three days backpacking in remote areas, where we met maybe ten people (and one huge black bear). The streams were beautiful and ice cold, the trees sang, and I worshiped at the altar of those huge boulders left behind when […]

  • Would you rather?

    I have a nine-year-old son and his latest obsession (we have many, frequently, at our house) is weighing decisions. He will be sitting, calmly eating breakfast, when a pensive look will come over his face and he’ll say, “Would you rather…” If one of his older sisters is anywhere around, this will immediately be interrupted […]

  • Glass

    It’s not the glass; but the shattered world and its elections and the wars and your father’s suffering and the long days of waiting to grieve and the way he reached up with his shaking hands after days of nothing and said Thank you to the nurse for his morphine and the way your face […]

  • Hardening off

    It’s a gardening term that is used to describe the period of time during which tender indoor-grown plants are slowly acclimated to the harsher (windier, colder, sunnier) conditions they will face when they are transplanted into the great outdoors. It’s also a term that occurred to me today when thinking about how I am raising […]

  • Feeling Fidgetty

    With things so touch-and-go for my father-in-law, we’ve had a lot of trouble focusing around here. Each time the phone rings, my stomach drops. There’s a sort of unsettledness that you feel when someone you love is slowly dying. Aside from the obvious emotional upheaval, there’s a constant sense of unfinished business, of things left […]

  • Summer in January

    I live roughly in the angle formed by Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in Western New York. But, okay, when I really want sympathy, I tell people that I live near Buffalo, city of infamy, when it comes to winter. But today it’s almost 65 degrees outside, a new record. The sun is shining, the […]

  • Living and dying

    “Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.” -Viktor Frankl, author, neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor (1905-1997) Attending to the dying gives one a glimpse into the great retrospective of a life. As time winds down for my father-in-law, his life unfolds before us […]