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The Language of Lemons

The Language of Lemons

“I brought you some lemons,” she said, showing me a bowl brimming with sunny spheres. “Thank you,” I replied to my longtime housekeeper. That’s one of the blessings of living in Southern California, stuff grows. I mean everything, everywhere. Citrus trees are fecund with fruit. “One tree will serve a whole family,” says my husband. “No one plants just one,” say I. Thus, the largesse on our countertop. “The other lady I work for said I could take as many as I wanted, and I know you need to use a lot of lemons.” “Thank you.” I do use a lot of them. Thanks to Dr. Laurie Mischley I take my Parkie pills (and several complementary supplements prescribed by the… READ MORE

Familial Fantasies

Familial Fantasies

I do not have the children I expected. They’re like me in ways I wish they weren’t. They express traits of their father’s that are not amongst my favorites. But, on some days I can see the best of myself and my spouse shimmer within them. I treasure those days. Even then, when I am hopeful and happy (relatively), I worry and cannot sideline the stereotypical Westside mother I embody. I push for more. Always and forever more. I am the Sisyphus of parenthood, my children the recalcitrant rock that will not heed my guidance up Opportunity Hill. My children are late bloomers. Some days I have to dig deep to believe that they will bloom at all; those days… READ MORE

Legacy Upended

Legacy Upended

“It’s been 30 years, “he said turning the page in his calendar.  “30 years …” his voice trails off into the purgatory of what might’ve been. Parents are not meant to survive their children. And yet there are many who exist in this backward world, having outlived those who should be our legacy. Life’s natural rhythm is flipped for us – because of … who cares what took them. They’re gone we have outlived those who should have laid us to rest. Biological, step, adoptive or other, our children are meant to mourn us. It’s wrong for us to weep on their graves. “I thought that I might just crawl into her tiny grave with her,” he shared when he told… READ MORE

Awareness

Awareness

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. I am quite aware I have Parkinson’s. I bet other twitchers are too. What good does awareness do? Does it help the outstretched hands of non-profits? “Now that you’re aware of fill-in-the-blank will you write a check?”  Maybe. Every day of every month someone is trying to make me aware of something through one campaign or another. And reassuring me that the price of this newfound, now essential awareness is a donation – any amount helps… $500 (or more) is suggested. Frankly, the only people whose radar I’d like Parkinson’s Awareness Month to ping are doctors, researchers, scientists, drug developers and their brethren. To all of you, those of you who can turn awareness into research… READ MORE

Remembrance

Remembrance

How is a life remembered? Which stories seal our fate? I forget more stories than I care to admit. The more time that passes, the more stories accumulate, making more for me to forget. Which shall I memorialize? Which should I tell you? Do I recall the ones where I am the hero who saves the day? The half-truths that will win me accolades, praise I’ll wish I deserved? Or, do I go with the truth? Dare I share the flawed, imperfect actions behind my best of intentions? Do I let the one about that night slip? The fragrant, spring night when you crawled off the bed and fell on your head? Or the one where I may have broken… READ MORE

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