Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Kathryn Kefauver Goldberg’s writing has been published in The New York Times, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Gettysburg Review. She has traveled to Australia, China, and Laos, and now lives with her husband and a chipper Bichon puppy in Berkeley, California, where she is working on a memoir.
“Don’t worry about taking care of me,” my mother liked to say every year as her birthday approached. “You’ve already trained me not to expect anything.” This because once, right after the divorce, my father had taken my sister and me to the beach on her birthday week.
I felt a jolt. Since my father had left, no one had said the word sadness. I had heard the words stingy and schmuck, but sadness seemed obscene, even more taboo than the topic of sex. Sadness was like my period, something that came regularly, to be borne in silence.