Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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Being in remission is like air: you only appreciate it when it’s gone. After four years of not appreciating it, I’m back on Vancouver Island, where I work at the university as a cafeteria dishwasher.
Slowly, Heidi finished the last of her champagne. She wiped her lipstick from the glass with her thumb, and something stirred inside Lawrence.
I would like to give you a metaphor that describes what it’s like to potentially pass on to one’s children a pathogenic variant that will possibly go on to kill them, but everything I am coming up with is histrionic.
I read all the literature hospice brought: Give the gift of comfort and calm. Give them support, permission. Give them more than they gave you.
When Sarah’s mother, Penny, got sick four years into our marriage, we decided to move back to Mississippi, considering it penance for the sins of our youth. We signed a lease on a house, a white one-story on the historical register with a wraparound porch and angels, stars, and the moon painted on the transom above the front door.
It begins like this: You drop your son off at kindergarten. His first day of school. You think that nothing in your life will be as big as this: the moment he drops your hand, he who has clung to you since birth, since that first breath of air, first scream, first frantic rooting for the breast.
Facing the police, facing your parents, facing the truth
One of the reasons we’re lonely . . . is that we’ve cut ourselves off from the nonhuman world, and have called this “progress.”