Category Archives: Life Lessons

SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO

TweetSeventeen years ago, on September 11th, my mother and I stood at my father’s bedside to tell him what had happened to his beloved country. He was almost completely bedridden by then and had retreated into the mysterious silence that

EASTER

TweetWhen I was young, our Spring-time ritual was to go to Phoenix, Arizona for the Easter holiday. Phoenix was where my mother’s parents lived, and we took the train because my father didn’t like to fly. I remember those Easters

MEN WHO BEAT WOMEN

TweetIn the Nineties, I dated a man whose hands frightened me. He didn’t raise them in anger to hit me, but he had battered me so thoroughly emotionally and psychologically that I always kept an eye on his hands, suspecting

A CHRISTMAS WISH

TweetChristmas has always been a difficult time of year for me. It’s no secret that I come from a challenged family, and Christmas did not bring out the best in us. Looking back on my childhood, my fondest memories were

MEMORIAL DAY

TweetWhen I was in high school, a boy a year ahead of me lied about his age and joined the Marines. It was the height of the Vietnam War, and that’s where he was headed. I didn’t know him that

HOME

TweetThe street behind my gym has become a sort of tent city. Homeless people have turned the sidewalks on both sides into their own encampments. Shelters have been fashioned from blue tarp, piles of bedding are wedged between plastic water

IN A FRIEND’S DEATH, A LESSON FOR THE LIVING

TweetI wrote this in 1999; it was published in The Washington Post. Lewis, the friend I lost during a time when so many were dying of AIDS, came into my mind recently, so I decided to reprint this.   A

GOODBYE 2015

TweetI’m glad to see this year go. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Whichever month you choose, the memories haunt, the heart hurts, and it’s devastating to tally up the tragedies. So many lost lives, so much violence that

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

TweetWhen I was a child, my parents would choose one night to drive me around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. The lights at our house were not that elaborate; my father put up a single strand of lights

UNWRAPPED HOLIDAY GIFTS

TweetA friend of mine lost his mother to cancer the other day. We’d had a long phone conversation the night before – mostly about getting older and falling prey to diseases that turn out to be cunning hunters. We talked

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