Family and Relationships
You think you can feel the peace in this room. A line from Matthew comes to you: “Forgive us as we forgive . . .” Something is happening here with the light and the birds and the wind outdoors: a transformation from despair to readiness. You call for your mother.
Jimmy nods toward his tow truck, and Davis gets in the passenger seat. Sliding in beside him a minute later, Jimmy offers coffee and some kind of airy sweet, the exact right thing. This is how a moth must feel when it finally gets to the light: warm inside and out.
“I don’t know what we’ll do if they don’t hit water,” I told him, scrolling through a table of well-restoration data I’d found online. This was my real fear, both for the well and for IVF — that our efforts would not work, and, financial resources depleted, we would have to figure out a plan B.
“When people see these photographs, I hope they see life before death,” Angelo says. “I hope they see love before loss.”
Basia watches her granddaughter, Lalka. No matter what else she does — digs in the garden, pulls weeds in the greenhouse, peels the potatoes — always she watches her granddaughter, who has a reddish-purple birthmark over her neck and jaw and part of her cheek. Her husband, Zbigniew, watches Lalka too.
For all you women out there, as the song goes (there must be a song that goes like that), this is how it is when you leave us: We wake up at midnight in our mother’s house, in our childhood room, in our childhood bed, and we think to ourselves, What am I doing lying here while, in New York, in my apartment, in my real room, in my adult bed, my wife is leaving me? Then we think that she is probably not alone in that bed. Then we get up.
Before I fell in love with my husband, I fell in love with his mother’s china. It was a frigid February night, my second date with my husband-to-be, who’d asked me to a concert in New York City, an hour’s drive from Princeton, where I was a seventeen-year-old freshwoman (as we called it in those days) and he was a sophomore.
She boarded the train that propelled her into the past and the future both at once, giving her time to shift perspectives, to find her edges again, the places where her body and the world met.