"Standing There Watching" Lessons learned about letting go.
It was muggy in Brooklyn that late August afternoon, the air closing in, making it hard to breathe. My husband and I huddled with our younger daughter, Katherine, behind the dorm where she would live as a college freshman.read more
"Manolo's Drawings" A shoe designer, a daughter and a friend in hospice care.
A book of Manolo Blahnik drawings lies open on the tray secured to Mayme's wheelchair. A maroon high-heeled shoe with a pointy toe makes her smile; its straps are fashioned like bamboo shoots, its buckle decorated with four promising buds.read more
"Little House on Linden Street" Forsaking a fast-paced career for a modest “cottage."
We pull up to the front door of the 1932 brick Tudor, and Randy stops the car but does not turn off the ignition. Linden Street. This is the house; cottage might be a more appropriate word. It is so tiny that I know exactly what my husband is thinking.read more
"The Ravioli of Writing" An Italian-American laments her lack of cooking skills.
My 12-year-old surfs the channels, eager to catch an episode of Hell's Kitchen, and I turn up my nose. True, I was right there beside her through a season of American Idol, yelling at the television set over Anwar Robinson's elimination, then defecting to Bo Bice;read more
"Grasping for Details"Attempts at coping upon the death of a sister.
Together the four of us stood at the side of our late sister's casket gaping at the shapely curve of her lips.
"Breathing for Elaine"Giving and receiving at the home of a dying friend.
It is a scorcher of a Sunday in July, a day when the air barely budges but hangs heavy around my shoulders. I have taken to noticing things like air, the act of breathing. This is what happens when you learn your best friend is dying.read more