Essay

Open Mic: Bleeding Ink

Mar 31, 2016

I look down at my paper that was once crisp and white, fresh from the printer, and now it is so covered with writing that I struggle to find space to write down the vital signs. The folded edges are now dull as the paper fibers are softened from the alcohol and dampness from my recently washed hands.

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?

I don’t mind turning fifty, really I don’t.  I suppose after you lose your hair at thirty, aging just becomes an abstraction:  I can’t really go gray after all, and I’m too blind to see my wrinkles, so no big deal, right? 

That said, I have noticed a trend I’m not so crazy about, this one where people I know and love, people my age, get sick.  And they don’t get better.  That’s not so good.  I’m not so crazy about that

Open Mic Essay: A Tale of Two Dogs

Dec 3, 2015
Creative Commons

I never wanted a dog. Growing up, my main interactions with dogs involved being chased by the junkyard variety. 

Years ago, my ten-year-old son, Ian, began lobbying for a dog just before his remaining sibling headed off to college. This last child desperately did not want to be left alone in a house with aging parents.

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