Tag Archives: Family

The Unveiling

“Do you need to go?” my younger sister asks as we hug hello in front of the cemetery’s office. “The bathroom’s around the side of the building.” We are gathering for my father’s unveiling, the traditional Jewish ceremony within a … Continue reading

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The Things That Will Fit into a House

Thirteen years after my mother left, she moved back in. Her return didn’t signal reconciliation between her and my father, albeit they were on better terms than when they had separated. She moved back into the house to be useful. … Continue reading

Posted in Rockaway Days | Tagged , , | 16 Comments


“The worst thing that could happen has happened,” my sister, Sarah, tells me. “I died. I’m dead” “But if you’re dead,” I ask her, “how can you be talking to me?” “I’m in another place. You wouldn’t understand,” she says. … Continue reading

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Bluebirds, Bluebells, and Love

  I met Stephen two days after his wife and their unborn child had died. Jennifer, who would have become my sister-in-law, was killed by a careless driver. Having barely met my boyfriend’s family, I arrived to share their worst … Continue reading

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The Putting On of Water

My father owned a paint and hardware store. More than a vendor, he was someone who worked with his hands, hands unsteadied by coffee, hands with long, dirty fingernails. He fixed broken things, patched them back together to make them … Continue reading

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I Visit Sometimes

I eat from my grandparents’ dishes. I sleep in one of their beds. I store my clothes in their dresser. I surround myself with old family things, as if the possessions themselves continue the family lore. I sometimes visit my … Continue reading

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The Last Bar Mitzvah

Sometimes people whom I barely knew, people long dead, come to my mind. Their faces are indistinct, but I remember a yearning they expressed that, as a child, I was too young to understand. These memories come upon hearing songs—the … Continue reading

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My Mother’s Songbook

My mother is an encyclopedia of songs—songs of her parents’ generation, songs of her own youth, show tunes spanning multiple generations, and the rock and roll of her children’s day, albeit the more melodic tunes. She will break out in … Continue reading

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Roller Coasters

In the first few weeks after I moved halfway across the country I dreamt of family—husband and child, parents and siblings, in-laws—on various beaches facing towering waves. I have dreamt of families and homes on sand for years. When I … Continue reading

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The Yellow Balloon

It becomes harder to say goodbye. My parents and in-laws live halfway across the country. Whether we visit for weeks or months, we always reach the time that we must take our leave. Knowing much time will pass before our … Continue reading

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