Caregivers Write: A Lesson from Palliative Care

Mar 17, 2016
Creative Commons

To Be Alone with Agnes:  I didn’t want her to die. I stood on the other side of the curtain with my eyes squeezed shut and listening hard. I could hear the gentle whir and click of the IV pump against the local weatherman’s spiel detailing the day ahead, and I could hear Agnes. I counted only six deep, slow, and jagged breaths in the minute that I hid behind the curtain.

A Violet Battle Flag: Somehow, I found myself genuinely, internally distressed about color choices I was debating between painting a room in the upstairs of my new house. Pressuring myself to make a selection in my mind, I was increasingly full of doubt regarding selecting either hue. Would this one complement existing colors? Would that one go well with the furnishings?

Postcard from Iran

Sep 22, 2015

The postcard read, “One memory of Iran, that I present of my very perty (sic) Sara,” and was signed, “Bahman and Reza.” 

The card showed a picture of a young girl, maybe 14 years old, working at a loom—“A girl carpet weaver of Isfahan, Iran,” read the caption.

Open Mic Essay: Mother Would Not Be Pleased

Jul 16, 2015

I’ve always told my children, “Don’t hitchhike and don’t pick up hitchhikers.” But, in truth, from my own experience, I’ve found that hitchhiking can lead to some interesting adventures.

Cast Aluminum Nurse with IV (New Kensington, PA)

Top entries from the 13th Annual Celebration of Reflective and Creative Writing (2015):

It’s never easy to deal with sickness and death, but nurses do it every day.  In her essay, UVA graduate student Melissa Beth Behl   explains how  and why she’s  able to cope with the stress of caring for patients.