January 15, 2021

To many little girls, their father is a hero and for some of my childhood that was true for me. Dad loved adventures and sometimes they were fun, more often they turned into disasters.

Once he literally got us, my two sisters and me, a pony. It was a big surprise and he was so excited to show him to us. Actually, he showed me ahead of the big surprise when he had me walk with him the evening before the surprise, and I actually kept quiet about it. I don’t remember exactly how my mother reacted…


Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

My dad got up everyday at 6 or 6:30 am and kept the same routines for decades, especially once he retired. There was no stopping him, he never took a day off. Once up, he would shower, shave, dress — usually in khakis and a polo, often in what he called dungarees and maybe a button down. He was L.L. Bean or Ralph Lauren Polo everyday. He would make his own breakfast, which on weekdays was the same almost everyday: a poached egg on white toast with orange juice, milk, and coffee. He then went to work. In his retirement…


Normandie Syken

Breathing. We take it for granted. My apple watch pings my wrist a few times a day and says: Breathe! As if I need to be reminded. When breathing is difficult, for whatever reason, the panic is so quick…

The day after Mother’s Day my mother finally was persuaded to go to the hospital. She was not very easy to deal with. On Mother’s Day, she couldn’t stay awake, sleeping at her place at the kitchen table. Her throne. I would sit across during our visits over the years and grade papers, make idle chit chat and have long and…

Ellen Smith Alden

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