A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Alethea Black was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard in 1991. She sometimes eats organic chocolate for breakfast and organic popcorn for dinner. She is the author of the story collection I Knew You’d Be Lovely and the memoir You’ve Been So Lucky Already. When no one could figure out why she was sick, she decided to school herself and now believes all illness has roots in quantum physics — specifically, in the way we experience time.
There isn’t really a reset button for life — a switch you can hit, after you’ve gone through something terrible, that lets you go back to the beginning and start over. But there should be.
My sister’s husband died recently, and sorrow has made her a little girl again. Although she’s thirty-nine, I keep catching glimpses of her little-girl face, the one I know from old photographs and junior-high yearbooks.