Two 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
My 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
After 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