LaLa and Other Magic Spells

Aug 20, 2014 by

I am magic. That’s something I frequently remind myself of when I need to, when I forget. “Nicole, you are magic,” I say, often in a whispered prayer that no one can hear but me. It’s an everyday enchantment in which I, using the power of fond memory or vivid imagination, conjure hope from despair, love from fear, or joy from sadness. I’ve talked a little bit about this practical magic before—it’s something I really believe in.  It takes a certain alchemy to take the lemons we are all handed in life and make them palatable, sweet even. But, where my life is concerned, I’ve nearly mastered the recipe, until I forget that I have it and my lips pucker at the sour of things. You must know that when I...

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Aug 15, 2014 by

Here, let me do it,” my daughter-in-love said to me reaching for her crying son. She then crawled into bed with him, drew him close, and let him melt into her embrace. The tears that streaked his fluffy cheeks soon dried and he drifted off into a peaceful sleep. When we’d first heard him crying, I volunteered to go soothe him. “He just wants to be held,” his mom said giving me motherly instruction. They’ve been traveling quite a bit lately, and my grandson is off of his bedtime routine. The fluidity in his schedule has left him uncharacteristically cranky and insecure, especially at night. “I can do it,” I said before climbing the stairs. But … I couldn’t. He wiggled and wailed in the cradle of my...

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The Benefit of Bleeding

Aug 11, 2014 by

I don’t know much about diabetes, but I’m learning. It is the disease that my father most suffers from among the other ailments that know him by name. Over the past six months, my dad has had around seven or eight surgeries or procedures that have required long periods of hospitalizations. Each operation was intended to bring healing to the rotting flesh on his right, dead toe. Gangrene is, apparently, a common, unfortunate, and potentially deadly symptom of diabetes and its ability to restrict effective blood circulation. Last week, my father underwent yet another amputation. This time, half of his right foot was removed. In speaking with the surgeon following the amputation, he spoke very optimistically about what he hoped would be...

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In Big Praise of Little Things

Aug 8, 2014 by

I’ve noticed something endearing that my mom does whenever she accomplishes something difficult—she praises herself. Affirmations of “I did it” or “you did it Billie” act as the punctuation of a sentence that, if written, would read: Billie, those three mountainous stairs you just clawed, crawled, and climbed using the two knees that badly need replacing could have stood in the way of you and the exhilarating feeling of finally, finally crossing the threshold of the front door you’ve longed to cross, but they didn’t, they couldn’t, because you, doggedly, creatively, painstakingly navigated them the best you could and your best, Billie Girl, was good enough this time. You did it! While I watched...

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