By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
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A stolen letter, a posthumous package, a Christmas card from a stranger
I read all the literature hospice brought: Give the gift of comfort and calm. Give them support, permission. Give them more than they gave you.
Some treat shiva purely as a party. Some have a mournful air. Some look deeply into your eyes, and you can see that they have suffered, too. This is the higher purpose of suffering: to inspire deep-eyed compassion. It’s one of those truisms that is actually true.
A trip to the Antarctic, a 500-mile pilgrimage, a two-hour bus ride
Chinese New Year in Philadelphia, Thanksgiving in Mexico, Passover in prison
When Sarah’s mother, Penny, got sick four years into our marriage, we decided to move back to Mississippi, considering it penance for the sins of our youth. We signed a lease on a house, a white one-story on the historical register with a wraparound porch and angels, stars, and the moon painted on the transom above the front door.
The scar in the turf in front of her headstone has long since healed. Her death date was blank at her funeral, reflecting our disbelief. It now reads, Sept. 11, 2010. Beside that is another blank for my father.
You can hardly remember now how you would pull out the ribbons she weaved through your hair, launching them into the wind as you pedaled faster on your bike. You have left that girl behind. You believe in the power of ribbons and roses now. You are a woman.