The Upper Ranch

By Amy Felix Stewart

“You’re so lucky you get to marry a Stewart boy!” my future sister-in-law Sheri exclaimed as she grabbed my hand to inspect the diamond that was still so new it felt foreign. She smiled over at her own Stewart boy, who stopped stoking the fire to nod at me under a white cowboy hat. It …

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Little Jeweled Pieces

By Sandra Clark

Early last spring I woke from the most vivid dream I’ve known. I wasn’t certain it was a dream at all, but a gift and a calling. In the weeks that preceded this dark-before-dawn waking, my mother had proposed—then requested—that I write her mother’s life: Sandra, I want you to write the book. In the …

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Not long on longevity

By Leslie Graff

I flipped the TV on as I pulled clean sheets onto my bed. The man on the screen explained the antioxidant powers of fruits and vegetables. He demonstrated how to make this broccoli, pepper, apple, banana (with peel) juice he drank daily and swore allegiance to a diet with no saturated fat—all necessary to ensure a long life. It gave me pause. Longevity is not my goal.
My grandmother is 98. Every day my mother goes over to the assisted living place where my grandmother lives and lays out her clothes and jewelry, inventories the Depends and blue chucks, reads her mail, pays the bills, and cuts up the food for her lunch and helps feed her. It’s usually a couple of hour-long excursions. It is not easy, deliberately hefting and lifting a now slightly shrunken, 5’ 9” woman between a bed and wheelchair. It’s not just the physical caregiving that is tough. Each day brings an emotional roller coaster. My grandmother’s mind is now so easily confused, it easily loses its tenuous grasp on reality and life in the present. It unearths skeletons, issues, emotions, fears buried for years, and is so easily caught up in imagined realities.

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By E. K. Beck

WE MADE A SCENE at preschool last week, which is odd for us. But there we were for the whole line of cars to see— hysterical daughter and guilt-ridden mother. Mei’s face was pressed to my chest and her tears soaked my shirt. I felt her breath as she sobbed, “I want to go home …

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Full Circle

By Michele H. Mirabile

AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY in 1976 forever changed the course of my life. I was twenty years old, serving in the United States Army, and unprepared for the responsibility of parenthood. At first, denial gave me sanctuary. The tests were wrong. My cycle was off. Things like this didn’t happen to women with so many dreams …

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By Laurie Andrews

“I DON’T HAVE A boyfriend anymore,” I heard my seven-year-old daughter say as I hung my clothes in my closet. It was the end of a long day, and in my exhaustion I was inclined to chuckle, then send her off to bed, when something inside whispered the importance of not brushing her off. I …

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Verdant Anchor

By Lara Niedermeyer

It’s been a summertime of solace like I’ve had before, soaking up the warmth of your bright soul and listening to your yarns and ponderings. I’ve filled myself to overflowing with your fresh perspective, born of ice cream through the alleyway and days with only soap of raging lye and learning not to cater though …

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By Heather Harris-Bergevin

We are watchmen for your safe passage; pacing at the harbor, readying for unloading, the bustle, the clatter exclamation, reunion. but for now, we, watchmen wait impatient knitting together our nets, our brows, our families, passersby. coming or going? they ask, and we smile. staying, continuing, watching, ever hoping, ever vigilant, until, with wind’s last …

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