I’m sitting in a dark room sandwiched between two old women in wheelchairs. The one on my right is my mom. We are watching An American in Paris. I don’t think I’ve seen it before. Over the last month, my mother’s health and well-being have preoccupied my life. Continue reading
What’s in a Word?
When my cousin Ruth phoned, I said, “You were nice to call. I bet you remembered this is the day my mother died. “
“Alice,” she said, and I could just see her primming her lips, “nobody says died any more. You really should say Continue reading
by Mary Jo Hazard
Last August 11th, Robin Williams committed suicide. He left three adult children to cope with his death—heartbroken, without a choice.
On September 26, 1972, my father shot himself. It was my sister’s birthday. He sat on my old twin bed, in the bedroom my sister and I had shared as children, and Continue reading
I saw something in the news the other day about Jack Lemmon, the actor, who died 15 years ago at age 76. Although I enjoyed his work, I never met him, but I came close.
Early in the 1960’s, I was a young researcher on the UCLA faculty. I was involved in a study of the sleep patterns of asthma patients. We asked some of our patients to sleep at the Westwood Neuropsychiatric Unit with electrodes strapped to their Continue reading
I tend to be a peace-maker. I avoid conflict, don’t like confrontation, and most certainly never go looking for trouble. But something in me is changing, and, in certain situations, I’m having a bit of trouble keeping my mouth shut . . . Continue reading
I could have been arrested. Some might say I should have been. But thanks to the passage of time, I can continue leading my reckless life while the children I “endangered” have safely reached adulthood. Today parents like me are being arrested for letting children play in parks unsupervised. I picture my face on a TV screen over a scrolling subtitle: “Mother Arrested for Sending Children to the Los Angeles Science Museum ALONE.” Yep, that was me.
I am four years old. My mother has taken me grocery shopping, one of my favorite outings. As we roam the aisles, I traipse behind her as she checks prices and places items in the cart. I ask for cookies and treats, but she says no. I am distracted and don’t notice her rounding the corner. When I look up, she’s gone. My heart stops, or at least that’s what it feels like. I stand still, paralyzed, and in a tiny voice I say, “Mommy?” Continue reading
“I wanna to be a witch,” my four-year-old daughter said.
“Are you sure? You don’t like scary things.”
“Yes,” she said with a firm drop of her chin.
“You know witches usually have big noses, warts, and straggly hair. They wear raggedy black dresses and pointed hats. That’s what makes them witchy looking. And we could find a lot of costumes like that.”
Finger in mouth, head to one side, she paused to contemplate. “I wanna be a pretty witch.”
“Not a scary one?” I asked.