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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

In The Name Of Compassion

A Lawyer Fights Assisted Suicide — An Interview With Wesley J. Smith

Compassion means “to suffer with.” True compassion means you stay with people in times of crisis; you stay with them until they get to the other side; you take some of their pain onto your own shoulders. Assisted suicide is just getting rid of the person in one fell swoop.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Cave

Grandma was a Presbyterian, and, as far back as I can remember, she always started her day by reciting the Twenty-third Psalm. Every morning, rain or shine, she would throw open the French window in the east room, look up at the hills, and say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. . . .” I used to stand by her side, hold her hand, and repeat after her, word for word. Then the sun would burst from behind the Monastery of Christ the Savior in Lebanon’s mountains of Joun, and the day would begin. Sometimes, before she went to the kitchen to make breakfast, Teta would stand there and look at the hills for some time, and then she would say, “The Lord God lives in those hills. He loves mountains, you know.” I had no idea how she knew where God lived, but that was what she told me, time and again.

And There Was Light

Being blind was not at all as I had imagined it. Nor was it as the people around me seemed to think. They told me that to be blind meant not to see. Yet how was I to believe them when I saw? Not at once, I admit. Not in the days immediately after the operation. For at that time I still wanted to use my eyes. I followed their usual path. I looked where I was in the habit of seeing things before the accident, and there was anguish, a lack, a void that filled me with what grown-ups called despair.

A Day In The Life Of Ann

Ann is lying on her left side in the hospital bed in the living room. Joe has just gone to work. Before leaving, he helped me turn her and take off her impractical frilly nightgown. He wants her dressed normally, though she’s way beyond caring. Now I’m watching TV, waiting for the suppository I gave her to work. If it does and she begins to have a bowel movement, I’ll have to run two fingers around the inside of her rectum, stimulating what nerves are left, to help her damaged body force the feces out.


A Finger On The Page

Everyone washes too much in this country. They wash their babies too much, as well. The babies don’t smell of milk and waste but perfume and powder. At the day-care center where I work, some parents back away from me because I smell like a real person. The babies like my smell. I can tell this by the way they cling to my breasts, poking at the mended cloth on my shirt.


Photographs By Rita Bernstein

In the early nineties, I left my job as a civil-rights attorney to devote my energy to photography. Having two young children at the time, I naturally began to record and investigate their lives with the camera. This quickly evolved into an exploration of the sweetness and sorrow of family life in general.

February 1999
Readers Write

Blind Spots

In preparation for getting my license, I practiced driving with Mom. She let me take my time as I steered our blue-and-white 1969 Impala convertible down country back roads, through quiet neighborhoods, and eventually into downtown. Then, after I’d successfully parallel-parked three times in a row, Mom said she wanted to show me something. She got out, walked behind the car, and shouted for me to look in both the side and rearview mirrors. Nothing. She wasn’t there.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Euthanasia is a long, smooth-sounding word, and it conceals its danger as long, smooth words do, but the danger is there, nevertheless.

Pearl S. Buck

More Quotations ▸
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