Featured Stories

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85: As She Sleeps

As She Sleeps In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. ~Robert Ingersoll I sit in a chair next to her. I watch as her chest rises and falls with each breath. I listen to the sound of her breathing, a soft comforting sound. I reach out and hold her hand; she stirs, but does not wake. Instinctively her hand closes around mine, like it has done so often before. I kiss her cheek gently. I whisper, “I love you.” Still asleep, a smile spreads across her face. She has heard me. I sit back into the chair, still holding her hand and I think: Does she know how much I love her? Does she know how much I care? Does she know I am here? I remember the days of our youth, two teenagers in love. How I loved to hug her and to hold her, to feel her arms wrapped around me. I remember how I asked her to be mine, for now and for all time. I see the tears in her eyes as she looks at me, not answering at first, then a smile and a soft yes. I see us fall into each other’s arms; I remember the smell of the rose I gave her. I wonder if she dreams of this as she sleeps. I see our wedding day — two young adults, not children anymore, too young some say, but we are in love and we know it is a true and deep love. I remember how nervous... (more)
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86: Turning the Page

Turning the Page The language of friendship is not words but meanings. ~Henry David Thoreau The book sale reminded me why I had fallen in love with my ex-husband Larry. My daughter Jessica borrowed my card tables for the occasion. On this sunny Saturday she hoped to earn a little money and sell some of the many books she had inherited when her father died. Her driveway and yard brimmed with tables and boxes, evidence of Larry’s great intellect and insatiable curiosity. When I met Larry in college, I was swept away by his ability to be poet, philosopher, historian or economist, depending on the occasion. Larry was a prodigious reader, delving into any subject that piqued his interest. As his interests grew, so did his bookshelves. Even though Larry and I had turned out to be emotionally and spiritually incompatible, I always admired his intellect and humor and we had remained connected after our divorce. Now, I smiled as I saw the religious books, exploring Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. When I met Larry in college, he described himself as an agnostic. But when he learned I was Jewish, he revealed he was three-quarters Christian and one-quarter Jewish. When he was drafted during the Vietnam War, his religious preference imprinted on his dog tags read, “Pantheist.... (more)
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87: Drive Fast, Take Chances

Drive Fast, Take Chances The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. ~William James “You’re not wearing that shirt, are you?” I asked Paul in a rather harsh tone. The shirt was a complete mismatch with his black cargo shorts. But I didn’t want to get into yet another fight about his clothes sense, so I let it go. Why did all the things that used to thrill me about this man now drive me crazy? He always looked great when we were dating. Now, his fashion faux pas drove me nuts. I used to find his favorite saying, “Drive Fast, Take Chances!” exciting. Now his driving scared me to death. I thought his idea of jumping around the dance floor, which he called dancing, cute; now it just annoyed me. I used to feel safe riding in his car all cuddled up next to him with the radio blasting. Now I detested his Eagles blaring on the radio. I used to lie in bed and watch him sleep, thinking how lucky I was to have him. Now I just poked him in the side to turn over when his snoring was too loud. His quirky little ways were driving me crazy. Never mind that he did all the grocery shopping, cooking and put away the laundry. Those things didn’t count. We each had chores. Those were his... (more)
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88: For Better or Worse

For Better or Worse No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. ~Richard Bach “I’m sorry” was what I wanted to say. Too bad I lacked the nerve to say it. Two little words, that’s all they were, but if I’d the courage to say them, they’d only open the door to more words — many more. An inevitable conversation would result if my thoughts were given a voice, and to be honest, talking about it was something I’d been trying to avoid. And so we sat out on our deck in silence and watched the intermittent bursts of lightning in the distant nighttime skies. The muffled rumbles of thunder that followed gave fair warning of the coming storm — the symbolism suggested by its approach wasn’t lost on me as I thought about all we’d been through lately — especially the infertility. I wondered if she thought about it as much as I did, and if so, what was she thinking? A part of me wanted to know, but fearing what she might say, or worse yet, how she might react, I was curious enough to wonder, but cautious enough not to ask. In truth, my silence sustained my sense of security, but it was merely postponing the inevitable. I knew that sooner or later she was going to... (more)