I had barely taken a breath of appreciation for the declining virus numbers, when the news ramped up about the Second Wave. I looked out my bedroom window, beyond the Bossert Hotel, past Brooklyn Bridge One, to the mingled arms of red and blue cranes at the Red Hook Terminal, which docked the Queen Mary 2 in healthier days.
“What are you doing here?” my rheumatologist stopped short as she came out into the hallway and spotted me. It was early March and I was there for my regular check up. “My patients with RA have all cancelled and you not only have RA, you have this lung disease as well. This virus will not be kind to you. You should not be out.” [Click on title to read the whole post]
After the doctor phoned and told Rosemary that she wouldn't be getting the magical new drug that we had spent the last six weeks hoping for, I kept waiting for the mistake to be discovered and corrected. [Click on title to read the whole post.]
Recently, I was having a lovely lunch with three close friends, outdoors at The New Leaf Café, in Fort Tryon Park, when one of the women announced that she and her husband were planning to sell their place near us and move into a retirement community down south. We all paused in our eating. There was a moment of silence before we congratulated her and began asking questions. We have been together, the four of us, for almost 15 years, meeting at least monthly to discuss a memoir we had read and to share the intimacies of our lives through writing. We are all headed toward 80 and the topic of retirement communities was not a new one. Still, as I looked across the table at my dear friend, I felt tears welling.
They were all young, beautiful, vibrant, and clearly multiracial and multicultural. As I walked into the registration lobby of the writing conference, I couldn't help but pick up on their energy. I live in New York City, a place where it is difficult, if not impossible, to miss the changing demographics of the world, but,... Continue Reading →
He was probably in his twenties, this young man who was sticking the needle into my arm to draw blood. I was still upset from my earlier visit to my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) doctor, on the eighth floor. I had seen my doctor (Dr. S), who had said my RA was under control, kept my medications at the same level, sent me for blood tests, and told me to return in three months.
The first day in the ER was unpleasant, but not horrible. It was Sunday. There were waits, but when we finally were called in, Rosemary was assigned a stretcher and there was a chair where I could sit. We had hoped to avoid the visit, but, after a four-hour stint while the on-call doctor opened his office and confirmed a re-occurrence of her optic neuritis, Rosemary had been sent to the ER for the first of a series of steroid infusions. [To read the rest of the post,click on the title.]
For several years now, I have started most days with a glance at my friend Scott’s puns of the day: “Pigs are stymied,” or “Beginning campers do it intentionally.” Sometimes, our mutual friend Rick posted a pun in reply and it seemed just like when we used to be in English class together. When Scott wasn’t well enough to post, I missed him, and I guess others did too, because when he showed up on Facebook after an absence, there would be comments, “Glad you’re back!” “Missed you!” “Welcome back!’ I didn’t know, until I read his obituary, that he had published several books of puns. [To read the whole piece, click on the title.]
“How did I ever find time to work?” I often hear friends who no longer spend their hours at a regular job lament. “What did I do when I had to do all this – and work too?” My calendar is filled with regular tasks and events – haircuts, dental cleanings, yoga classes, book group, writing group, errands, social engagements. But I did these when I was working. I thought it would be different without a full-time work assignment. For one thing, I thought I would have more time to write! [Click on Title to Read Full Post]