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the humanity in you

“it would probably
sound weird saying this
to just about anyone else,
but … i think we were
profoundly lucky
to have the mom
and childhood
we did”

i told my sister
this last month,
and she agreed

but how,
with all that trauma,
could we be lucky?

i understood it,
but not in a way
words could touch

on saturday,
i read a passage
in a book that made me
go, “oh. oh.”

i got closer
to finding words

on sunday,
i joined two friends
(and others) for their
birthday brunch; as
brunch ended,
bill friday brought
tears to my eyes
with what he
said in farewell,
and how he
said it

and then
my brother-in-law
emailed me his draft
residency application
essay, and it was full of
both recognition of
the traumas of
poverty he
witnessed
with my–
no, OUR–
family,
and of
love

with his
just-the-right-words,
i was closer still
to unearthing
my own

and then,
back home,
my husband
and i talked
about our long beach
family, and i was
THIS close to
getting it where
words can reach

on monday,
a friend presented
on a book she’d read
and i finally, deeply
got the ways my siblings
and i are rich in ways
others probably wish
they were, or
would if they
understood
such riches
are even
possible

so now, i
get it. i have
the words for this born-from-pain
kind of blessedness …
and i may someday
share them here,
when i have a
bunch of hours
to spare

but for now,
i just want to say
sorry
for being so focused
on one kind of suffering
i know intimately,
and which i know so many people
endure today,
that i stopped
seeing other sufferings
and all the things
all this suffering has
in common

i see the
humanity in you,
including the love
and the suffering,
and i wish you
so very
much
peace

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Categories: Family, Friends, Love Tags: , , , ,

family medicine

Three years ago,
I watched my brother
(-in-law, so long a part
of my life and family, those
hyphens seem silly) receive
his short coat as he
prepared to begin
medical school

He visited
last weekend,
and my boys and
dog were SO happy to
see him, but …
not nearly as
happy as
was I

We spoke of
many things, but
what I remember most
was telling him
how proud
I am of
him

I didn’t mean
to say as much here,
but he just sent an essay
for critique, and its contents
were the kind I’ll need time
to digest before critiquing
because, honestly,
I just have to sit a while
with all the memories and feelings
first

My world would
have been a much
sadder world without him,
and I know that the world will be
a little less sad
to have him
as a doctor

Categories: Family, Love Tags: , ,

The good behind and the GREAT ahead

Calendars everywhere tell me it’s almost 2015, but that can’t be right. I’m still writing checks for the year 2000!

For now I’ll pretend calendars are right and tell you about the year 20002014 as I lived it:

  • Me and Littler JI met my second son, Littler J, on the ten-year anniversary of my meeting his father. It was love at first sight.
  • I wanted to encourage my older son’s love of school-based learning, leading me to enroll him at an alternative school. The experience was terrible; I spent the first few months of Littler J’s life kicking myself for not recognizing Li’l D signs of distress earlier. As the year progressed, I delighted in seeing my son flourishing once more, and growing into a love of reading and math thanks to teachers happy to welcome him back to his old school.
  • My husband was promoted to assistant directing after years of working as a Production Assistant. (I had a chance to witness him flourishing in this new role; it was beautiful.)
  • Li’l D started kindergarten. (But didn’t I just bring him home from the hospital?!?!)
  • IMG_20140815_111106I celebrated my brother-in-law’s commencement of medical school. While the accomplishment was his own, it was beautifully bound up in a shared history that once led my mom to say he’d always be our family … even if he and my sister ever broke up. I wept for me, for him, for my mom, and most of all for hope as I watched him receive his short coat.
  • I seized an opportunity to be a work at home mom. I relished the extra time with my boys, which relishing didn’t stop me from realizing I very, very much enjoy working–and especially negotiating, with adultsin an office setting. (More on that revelation later!)
  • I accepted an offer to begin an exciting job in the new year. (More on that later!)

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