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The Walking Wounded

As a fan of mysteries, I often read about or watch television shows in which the deceased, found in the woods or water, can only be identified through dental records since no scars mark their bodies. I jokingly remind my children that should I go missing, my body will be easy to identify.

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Waiting

A good imagination can be an asset but also a liability. I first discovered that fact in 1974, when I found a lump on my left breast. Three more lumps—another on my left breast and two on my right—reinforced my belief that my creative mind could be my most formidable foe.

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Coping with Coldness

My family and friends constantly tease me about my state of perpetual coldness.  On the mildest winter day or even a chilly summer one, I will don a thermal shirt, sweatshirt, and hoodie, often under a coat of a varying degree of warmth. I am the only theater usher who does her job while wearing an outdoor coat, even though the dress code for ushers is a white top with black pants.

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Better Safe than Sorry

When it came time to schedule my fourth COVID booster, I procrastinated. I’d experienced extremely negative reactions to the first two vaccines and the three previous boosters: chills, fever, aches, nausea, weakness. Dealing with those symptoms again did not appeal to me.

But then I remembered what happened to my paternal grandfather and to my beloved father—and I made the first available appointment to get the new booster.

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Finding Hope in Theater

I tend to be a “cup is half-empty” person. The current situation in the world has deepened my darkness. At night, I hear the traffic from the main street outside my window. I imagine the sound of bombs heightening the noise, and I pull the quilt over my head. My heart aches for all the children, no matter their background, who are suffering—personal injury, loss of relatives, the trauma of separation and the unknown. With

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Roll Out the Barrel

I have generally thrived in school settings, first as a student and then as an educator. However, an experience in seventh grade—junior high—left me so traumatized that I feared I would never again feel comfortable going to school.

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Rising to the Occasion

Ma lived a blessed life: more than six decades of marriage, two professionally successful children (a physician and a teacher), and three wonderful grandchildren. Yet, these gifts mattered less to her than her forty years working in a baby/children’s store. When health issues forced her to retire at age eighty-two, she lost her heart and her spirit. Ma spent the days in her old recliner, wearing only a tattered white T-shirt and equally torn white

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Dare to Care

As an educator, my students reacted not to the universities I attended, the degrees I earned, or my experience in the profession, but to my enthusiasm, creativity, compassion and respect. Assuming that I understood the material, they cared more about how I treated them as individuals.

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It Is What It Is

I am not a drinker—not of water, juice, coffee or tea, or alcohol. My children and physician constantly remind me of this unhealthy habit, stressing that my body needs fluids, especially water, to function properly. I hear them, but I do not listen. I have even ignored them these past several months when the temperatures have risen to the high eighties and often middle nineties.

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The Shelf of Shame

Round bottles of pills fill one shelf of my medicine cabinet. Only one bottle contains a rather harmless drug: a prescription pill used to fight nausea; that bottle tends to stay full for a long time. The other bottles hold stronger drugs: one for my hypothyroidism; two to reduce my anxiety and stress and allow me to sleep at night; and one, the largest one, whose contents somewhat alleviate the chronic head pain I have

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