Author Archives: Jill M.

About Jill M.

I am a mother, rower and writer who spent a year in Berlin with my family. Back in the US now, I blog at Lost in Berlin, found here: https://jmazlostinberlin.wordpress.com/.

To be trusted with tears

fith-and-minn

Photo courtesy of Metro Transit

Why the disheveled man approached me rather than someone else I couldn’t say. It was a recent chilly Wednesday evening and I had pulled my beret down over my ears.

The man wanted to know if the 54 would stop at our corner, something I easily confirmed with a glance at the bus departures board. He lingered after I answered; it seemed he wanted something more.

“Name’s Kevin,” he said, offering his hand, which I took.

“Nice to meet you.”

I pulled my bike bag a little closer.

“Know who you remind me of?” Continue reading

The starting line

jillbecky_2015-mn003-286-mediumTwo years to the day after we flew to Berlin for a family sabbatical, I left my husband for the first time. It wasn’t Berlin’s fault. And maybe it wasn’t M’s either. But things were put into motion during that yearlong hiatus from our so-called real life that a separation had shifted imperceptibly from the category of impossible to damn near inevitable. Continue reading

The healing power of coffee

368028111_0776c55399_zMy dad’s decline was rapid and dizzying: He bounced from a routine chemo visit to an outpatient transfusion to the ER to a hospital room to the ICU in the course of 12 hours on a Thursday a few weeks before Christmas. We’d driven to his oncologist’s office for a morning appointment, telling his wife we’d be back by lunch with plans to catch a matinee of Brooklyn that afternoon, unaware he would not be coming home again. Continue reading

Scene from a hospital

hospcorrAfter my father’s transfusion went haywire, the nurse in the emergency room asked many questions, among them this one:

“Have you ever been a smoker?”

The nurse stood before him, her pen poised to record his response.

I gave him a sidelong glance and thought about the cigars he’d light up in our backyard after dinner, the puff puff sound he’d make to get it lit;  Continue reading

H is for hippocampus

neuron

Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

The word of the day is ‘hippocampus,’ I told C as we drove home from Whole Foods on a late October afternoon.

Why do you say that? she asked.

I came across the word three times today, I said. First listening to the radio: I heard a song by Hippo Campus, that band you’re going to see in a few weeks. Then I got an email from Hippocampus, a magazine that only publishes essays. And last I got a call from an old friend who works at a foundation, asking me to write a press release about four neuroscientists who just received awards for their research on memory. They all study the hippocampus.  Continue reading