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Parents

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Beat The Old Lady Out

I couldn’t see the loaves in her oven, but I could smell them. They smelled like the perfect weight of blankets on a winter night; like the loving and attentive parents I thought I deserved; like the solution to every natty problem that might crop up in life.

By Debra Gwartney March 2021
Readers Write

Mail

A stolen letter, a posthumous package, a Christmas card from a stranger

By Our Readers February 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Something I Might Say

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.

By Stephanie Austin January 2021
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Loss

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.

By Sparrow December 2020
Readers Write

Distance

A trip to the Antarctic, a 500-mile pilgrimage, a two-hour bus ride

By Our Readers December 2020
Readers Write

Holidays

Chinese New Year in Philadelphia, Thanksgiving in Mexico, Passover in prison

By Our Readers November 2020
Fiction

Debris

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.

By Terry Engel October 2020