Larry Bauer ~
In August 2016, our daughter Rachel and her husband Alberto traveled up from Memphis with their two children, Noel and Jude, to visit my wife and myself in Dayton, Ohio.
One afternoon during their stay, I was sitting in my favorite reading chair beside our kitchen area. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw seven-year-old Noel playing. Beside her, lying tummy-down on the floor, was three-year-old Jude. He was in a trance, fixated on the screen of his LeapPad computer tablet, his "most favorite toy in the world."
Seeing Jude there triggered something inside me. We'd always gotten along well. He would come to me, and I'd pick him up, cuddle with him and carry him around. He enjoyed being gently tossed in the air or having me hold his legs and raise him so he could touch the ceiling. He loved the water, and playing with him in the pool was always a great time. But now, something told me that I hadn't really reached out to connect with him at his level.
Amy McVay Abbott ~
My husband, who's had type 2 diabetes for twenty years, had been struggling for a long while to lower his hemoglobin A1C--a number that measures how well he's managing his blood sugar over time. When he and I finally investigated the issue, it turned out that someone close to him was thwarting his efforts.
This person is an addict. Her drug of choice is sugar--often candy no self-respecting adult should want, like Milk Duds or Necco Wafers. She'd order a lemon-drop martini and be just as happy if it came without the vodka.
Houston, we have a problem. That problem is me: a wife who couldn't fully accept her spouse's health problems.
Cathie Desjardins ~
Rusted nearly through at the base
of their pale green throat,
the amaryllis buds are trying to bloom,
like a person with a tracheotomy
trying to say a poem.
I snip off the buds, leaking dark red
from their diseased wound, trimming
them to clean pale stubs to put in water.
Day to day, the largest furled bud
is loosening into white wrapped wings.
The other three buds are tinier versions
of each other like Russian nesting dolls.
They are plumping with white petals
veined green but their nubs
are softening in the water and I don't know
if they can ripen without earth.
Lying next to you on a sleety day
I look over at them for a lesson
I might learn, wondering
if I should furl my body closed