Category Archives: Family

The starting line

jillbecky_2015-mn003-286-mediumTwo years to the day after we flew to Berlin for a family sabbatical, I separated from my husband. 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