Showing posts with label Family Tree. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Tree. Show all posts

Saturday, July 06, 2024

in which my mom schools me on how to use my phone

Sometimes when Nu and I are comfort-watching a show from the '90s (Friends or Dawson's Creek or Felicity--ok, the last two are mostly me), I'm amazed at how all those characters are just walking around without cellphones hoping to bump into their pals randomly and with no way to check in on people if they're late to a rendezvous. I say "they," but I did that too back then, obviously. Sometimes it seems like another lifetime! I wonder if Nu can really even imagine how it used to be. 

And I'm not even a person who uses their phone that much. I was reminded of that today when my mom made a request. She wanted me to record myself singing a handful of Thyagaraja kritis because she said she wanted to hear them right now. (It was so sweet. "I can't wait until June to hear you sing them to me again," she said.) When I told her I didn't know how to record, she gave me such specific directions starting with: "look for the "mic" symbol..." Seriously, I was so impressed. She said that she'd previously taught her aunts to make recordings when they found it difficult to type. Nu, who is of the digital-native generation, is my usual go-to person when I need to figure out something on my phone... but now I can ask my mom too.

Pic: Huck and Max keeping me company; I was putting dinner together while I practiced "Marukela Ra," one of the songs my mom had requested. This version I found is by the superb Maharajapuram Santhanam (incidentally, the grandfather of one of my school friends who's recently become a wonderful advocate and carer for the many street dogs in Chennai).

Friday, July 05, 2024

naming our vineyard

Another quiet day here today. All I had in my pictures folder was this reminder that we have volunteer grapevines (with tight clusters of unripe grapes) in the driveway. It reminded me of Nicole living on a vineyard and I amused myself by wondering what we might name our "vineyard". (Because, as I don't know much about wine, clever names and fun labels are the most important part of the wine business for me.) 

I think it would have to be something with "Doggie" in it. I mean, that was the main contender when we changed our family name 17 years ago... Doggie Tales? Domaine d' Doggie? Woof Woof Winery?

(As it turned out, when we finally changed our name, we knit together one of my family names and part of Big A's. I love that he changed his name as well, and always think about how he had to petition the courts and pay a fee to do that--our current patriarchal system is not set up for men to change their names when they get married.)

Pic: One of our volunteer grapevines. I don't know how the vineyards further north do it, because our grapes aren't at all ripe by the time Fall rolls around...

Sunday, June 16, 2024

have loved him my whole darn life

I posted a short tribute on FB for Father's Day. I wrote, "My dad was the first feminist I knew. (He loved the poet Bharathiar deeply, and perhaps that's where *he* got it from...) I am so lucky to have had his fierce love and support in all things big and small all my life. I know he's loved me since I was born, but I've actually loved him my whole darn life."

But there's so much more to say... How he came from a family of six brothers, and mourned the baby sister who died as an infant for decades. How he'd tuck my sister and me into bed like it was a military operation--even lifting our feet to tuck the sheets under them. How he teared up when I got my first period, because he was so sad for my future lifetime of cramps and discomfort. How when I said he loved fiercely, I meant fierce in all its senses--sometimes he'd be so moved kissing us, his face would be like a grimace. How he made a rule that my mom could not compare us to other kids. How he'd find something good about even our failures or frame them in the most generous light. How he'd had secretaries to "take dictation" at work, but would painstakingly write notes to us in his (truly) terrible handwriting.

My mom is right--good dads get more kudos than good moms because good dads are rarer than good moms. But as the years go by and he gets older, I cherish every day and every conversation with my dad even more. I'm hoping to take all my A's--Big, Little, and Baby--to go visit him in India next year.

Pic: My dad and me on Elliot's Beach; I'm sure my favorite uncle took this one. I look so much like dad in this one.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

the lift we needed

So buoyed by the surprisingly good election results in India! There has been such severe repression of press and academic freedoms over the last ten years under the fundamentalist and egocentric leadership of Prime Minister Modi, and that has been fractured by the secular INDIA coalition winning 232/543 seats today. 

Modi's victory is pyrrhic--he will likely still become the P.M. for a third term. But for the first time in a decade, there is a solid opposition bloc in parliament, and he will not be able to have unconstitutional, non-secular, Islamophobic, crony-capitalism bills passed so easily (or at all).

People who celebrate my Boss Day--I mean, who else but my immediate family--started saying the results were a Boss Day present to me! It was funny and SO sweet to see texts from my sister and At both pop up with identical language simultaneously. The exit polls had been so doctored to benefit the ruling party over the month-long election process, so the results took everyone including pollsters, psephologists, and pundits by surprise. 

What a wonderful glimmer of hope that India will fulfill its destiny as the biggest democracy in terms of more than just numbers. I spent so much of the morning just beaming at my computer screen enjoying the memes and gifs and schadenfreude (they lost in Ayodhya where they destroyed the mosque!) and texting with friends and (the progressive) cousins. So proud of my home state of Tamil Nadu that gave the BJP exactly ZERO wins. So grateful to the students, professors, journalists, farmers, and impoverished millions who protested and resisted Modi's fascism in every way they could.

Pic: I love this quote from journalist Ravish Kumar: "Not all battles are fought for victory. Some are fought to tell the world that someone was there on the battlefield." I think it applies to every battle I'm engaged in. Our fights are, at least in part, so people being oppressed know that other people see their struggles and will fight for them. To know that we/they are not alone. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

crossed lines

A long chat with my mom who is back home from staying with her newly bereaved sister for a week and everything is Just. So Sad. 

My aunt wants to stay in her house because she has memories (I used to fall asleep watching TV and he would settle my head on his shoulder, she said. SOB). But people are worried about her living on her own. Last year, the family had a collective meltdown when I, a grownass woman, took public transport by myself, so I know a bit about how that feels. 

My aunt is increasingly estranged from her only child who seems to be treating her badly. Plus her in laws and kid seem to be more into how the property is going to be divvied up etc. instead of consoling her.

I also heard my dad CRIED when he tried to console my aunt. This is my mom's BABY sister, and she was eight when my parents got married, so he's been there all along, and he's so sad for her. 

Naturally, this made my mom worry about my dad's heart and health.

And then I got a play by play of several family members sniping at each other, a video of the accident someone recorded and only my mom and her brother have seen, the sweets she took to one of the rituals, plans for the ashes, how amazing my sister has been ordering food for dozens of people at my aunt's, the CONSISTENCY of my uncle's corpse... etc. I hadn't talked to my mom in a week and it was a VERY LONG catch up, is what I'm saying.

My favorite story about my aunt is when she was eight and starry-eyed about her new brother-in-law (my dad) and excited about her oldest sister's wedding in general and managed to insert herself in nearly every wedding photo frame until the photographer had to give her candy and plead with her to allow him to take some pictures of the bridal couple by themselves. I've seen my parents' wedding album; this appears to not be apocryphal at all. (smile)

(And I'm struck again by what is time? That eight-year-old with her crossed arms and sassy stare... how does life take us from there to this sad and lonely place?) 

Pic: This one makes me chuckle ruefully. It's from last week's hike when I wore bike shorts and now I have a tan line halfway up my leg so it looks like I'm walking around in thigh-highs all the time. Is there anything I can do about it?

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Mother's Day mess: It's a fine one, don't worry!

MIL was in town, so we had a big Mother's Day brunch like we used to have when we lived in Yellow Springs. I dug up some Lily of the Valley (just going bonkers in our front yard) for some pretty arrangements, baked spice cupcakes with lavender and rose petal frosting, and put together a row of salads people could nosh on by themselves or fold into something from the bread basket. 

(When I was planning this, I thought I'd have to make a trip to the store because we were nearly out of croissants, but then I put together an assortment of bread from the bread bin--bagels, sourdough, 21-seed--along with the last of the croissants and saved myself a trip. Plus it looked fancier. Plus things that needed to get eaten got eaten.)

I spent a lot of time at Scout's memorial (Scout was the OG mama's baby), finished a ton of garden maintenance, got a long soak, read for a couple of hours, chatted to post-shift Big A, and played sounding board to Nu (yes--it would be nice to make a get-well-soon card for your friend).

All that was really nice. But as I'd admitted when I was out with my girlfriends on Thursday, I was sad. At had told me earlier this week--after I'd asked a few times when to expect them on Mother's Day--that they'd be in Chicago to take in a concert. As I lamented to my girlfriends, it's on the calendar (the family one too) and I'd have been totally ok with it if At had just told me themselves ahead of time or if it were a trip for work or something. OR, the girlfriends said--if At had said they were going to attend a concert, but had made plans to celebrate with me another day. Ok, that too. 

Most of all, I disliked feeling like I was being high-maintenance or precious about Mother's Day--our plans are simple, usually we just spend time together in the garden. As it happened, At stopped by after the concert for a quick visit with a card detailing an elaborate plan for the 24th. It was as if my girlfriends had manifested this nice turn of events for me! So we have a M.U.M. Day (Make-Up Mother's Day) and yes, this too is something we've done before

Also: At said the concert sucked. 

Also: Don't even ask about Nu.

Pic: An "ussie" of me with the kids this evening: Huck, Max, At, and Nu on the other side of me.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

drop by drop


My baby uncle, my mom's youngest sister's husband, was named for King Sibi who was willing to sacrifice his life for a dove. As a kid, I always imagined my uncle was kind.  

And he was. 

One of my earliest memories of him is as a newlywed trying to impress his new niblings (me and my cousins) with a party trick he'd learned at college. The objective was to drop a coin into a glass filled to the brim without spilling any water. 

My uncle would dip the coin into the glass, but then quickly withdraw it as if too nervous to actually let it go. He did this about four or five times and then finally released the coin into the water, where it sank without displacing a single drop of water. 

The "trick" was that every time he dipped the coin into the glass, he was removing a drop or two of water when he withdrew it--after doing this enough times, it became safe to release the coin because the glass was no longer as full. I think of this as the drop-by-drop method (like Anne Lamott's bird-by-bird, or AA's one day at a time)... an exercise in chipping things away through small and steady measures. 

My sister told me that our baby uncle died in a road accident today. The narrative arc between that newlywed trying to impress a gaggle of new niblings and today's news of dismemberment by an 18-wheeler makes no sense. It doesn't even seem real.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

it's old and faded now

Although we always felt some pity for her by that point in our visit 
when our Dorakanti grandmother would lament that though she'd yearned for daughters 
all her life, all she had been given were six sons 
and that was why she loved her granddaughters so much
my sister and I would remain stiff and unbending. 

We had heard that Dorakanti grandmother had been mean to our mother 
when she was a new daughter-in-law 
and that made her eternally unpleasant in our eyes. 

We were stiff as scarecrows inside Dorakanti grandmother’s embrace
stiff and unfriendly to the children from next door summoned to play with us
and our interactions with the special snacks made for us were cursory.

We paid attention when it was story time, but only silently
and only because it was dark and no one could see our eyes stirring to the story 
the punctuating “umms,” which were our duty as audience, needlessly parsimonious and slow.

Dorakanti grandmother’s stories were strange in that they never began with a “once upon a time.”
They all began, “in a place,” “in a village,” “in a town.” 
It was as if these stories where the prince fell in love with the princess 
after chancing upon just one filament of her preternaturally long and fragrant hair 
or where the young prince battled tigers to impress his mother
--as if these stupid, unnatural things had happened just a few weeks before we came to visit.

And at the end of the story when the prince married the princess 
or the young prince was crowned, there would be a big celebration 
and grandmother would launch her punch line:
“That was when they presented me with this sari,” she would say, 
holding her sari out for us to touch, hoping we would scoot closer to her. 
It’s old and faded now, but it was rich and shiny when they gave it to me.” 
And we’d reach for her sari politely enough, 
even knowing that our fingers would be snatched up and kissed, 
but we’d remain curled up around ourselves, my sister‘s hand in mine.

And although I'd will myself to fall asleep quickly
knowing dad would take us home the next day
I'd wake as grandmother stroked our limbs before she left the room
stretching each of our legs in the half darkness to their furthest length 
so we'd "grow tall in our sleep" and not take after her.

________________
Pic: Max getting his zoomies out. All I have to say to this puppy I love so much is "I'm going to CATCH you, Maxie!" That's it, he'll play keep-away for the next five minutes. Scout played this way too, so I enjoy this on so many levels.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

what we are built for

in the days when the kids were smaller
and my parents younger
and they lived here 
six months of the year
                                the only time I'd get mad at my dad
                               (my mom and I squabbled
                               every other week
                               or so)
                                                was when he'd look at my husband getting
                                                 ready for a training run
                                                 and declare he wasn't
                                                 "built for running."
                                                                                 my dad... my corporate bigwig dad
                                                                                 had two secretaries once, but now 
                                                                                 dutifully transcribed stories 
                                                                                 the grandkids dictated 
                                                                                                                       my dad who titled himself the president
                                                                                                                        of the fan club our sweetly narcissistic
                                                                                                                        toddler so desired...
                                                                                                                        that dad
was telling me my husband--who 
was spending hours running
every day--was unsuited
to running
                                But dad. I'd say--he's run marathons
                                what do you mean he isn't
                                built for running? And on 
                                and on we'd go.
                                                            my dad had had polio when he was five
                                                            his withered left leg still hurts, his
                                                            uneven legs (like these lines)
                                                            limp every step
                                                                                    but that dad didn't care how his body was built, he 
                                                                                    had "persevered" to become the captain 
                                                                                    of his school's soccer team and cricket
                                                                                    team and wrestled in college     
                                                                                                                        so it didn't make sense then, but now I think
                                                                                                                        he was saying my husband wasn't built
                                                                                                                        for running hours every day when
                                                                                                                        I needed help with our kids

Friday, March 22, 2024

the hellebores of yore

I took a picture of our hellebores coming up yesterday, and a good thing too... today they're blanketed in about five inches of snow.

The snow wasn't going to stop us from heading to Yellow Springs for a long overdue visit to Grandma S tomorrow...

Except Big A seems to have gotten the flu from patients (lots of Flu B out there, people)... so I guess we're not going after all.

My poor MIL! this is our much delayed and postponed CHRISTMAS visit! The post title sounds like an old-timey lament, and that's exactly how I feel.

Pic: Hellebores/Lenten Roses in the backyard before the snow.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

small planet, big feelings

Usually on teaching days, all I do--all it seems I can do--is teach and then head home to veg. But today, despite some kid-care challenges, I managed to have tea with BOL and then walk over to the Wharton to see Small Island Big Song with EM. 

When EM first asked if I wanted to go to "Small Island," I thought it was a dramatization of the Andrea Levy novel we both love--it isn't. It turns out to be a beautiful cross-cultural collaboration between musical artists from about 16 islands dotting the Pacific and Indian oceans. I didn't understand a single word... and I didn't need to... the music was so joyous and transportive. I loved the artists' camaraderie and synergism. And their final song about the danger to the Great Barrier Reef sounded sorrowful and (rightfully) angry and nearly brought me to tears.

Things I thought about during the concert: 

1) How my last set of season tickets at the Wharton was pre-pandemic and I need to see about getting tickets again. They have Six playing this weekend, and I would have liked to go. 

2) Because I couldn't understand the lyrics at the concert, I thought about how much my mom likes Nelly songs (esp. "Hot in Here" and "Ride Wit Me") although she probably only gets about 50-70% of the lyrics (because of slang and accent). The kids find this HILARIOUS. (I mean I do too... my mom has never smoked anything in her life let alone an "L.")

3) I hadn't yet finished The Bee Sting at that point in the evening, but its climate grief really connected with the music in Small Island Big Song. One of the characters in The Bee Sting rages about how strange it is that poets keep writing about birds and flowers and so on as though whole species aren't disappearing every day. That is SO true! (10/10 for The Bee Sting, BTW.)

Pic: Small Island Big Song in concert. I'm off to see if I can find their songs on the internet. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

some backstory... and a Boss Day

Some backstory to yesterday's poem.

Our grandmothers were first cousins, so Sunil was a distant cousin--although that doesn't matter much in the  Indian context (something that's unclear in the poem, and I should work on it). Our grandmothers were as close as sisters--closer, as they had no sisters and lived in a big joint-family mansion where they had private tutors--so they were together all the time. They were really close--they always talked about how they breastfed each other's babies so their babies would feel like siblings and think of them (their aunts) as mothers too.  

It didn't work out exactly like that. My mother would go to her aunt when she fought with her mom, but later there was some family drama (our grandmothers fell out in their sixties) and mystery (things people won't talk about). Stuff that came out as what Nicole rightly called "mixed things." Nance found the ending surprising--something else I'm working on. I was trying to express how it felt to have someone in my peer group die... like the beginning of the end. As I mentioned in a comment to StephLove, Sunil died of a heart attack, so that feels as though our bodies are going. 

Pic: It's the puppies' Boss Day! Huck and Max got new lick pads and love them. 

(It's not their actual Boss Day, but it was too bewildering for Scout and Huck when we celebrated them individually, so we picked the 18th of the month to celebrate a puppy Boss Day. Max's "smile" cracks me up.)

Monday, January 22, 2024

"go not to the temple"

I'm feeling frustrated about the huge celebrations in India and worldwide for the temple Hindu fundamentalists have built over the mosque they destroyed (and the blood of the people they've killed). 

My Twitter and FB feeds are mostly progressive articles and quips, but my WhatsApp (elementary school pals) is chockful of people sharing pictures and claiming they're just celebrating and that it's not at all political. How could anything that caused the deaths of over 2000 innocent people and has led to the current wave of intense and ignorant Hindu fundamentalism be unpolitical? All these (high-caste) Hindu women posting random and adulatory details of the temple! I wonder if our non-Hindu classmates--the Sikh, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Parsi, Periyarist Dalit kids--have already left or are just staying silent. 

On the cousins' chat, my cousin very helpfully posted a picture of themselves drinking out of a mug labeled "liberal tears." I was going to say something cutting, but this is a troll move and I'm not responding--anything else would be a reward for them. 

Pic: Tagore and "Go Not To the Temple." Friends have been posting a lot of Tagore, and while this is not his best work, I've been resharing it. It would be easy to ignore me, but it's a bit harder to ignore the Nobel-winning author of the Indian national anthem. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

"I believe that children are the future"

My mother once told me that even when she was mad at me, something (sweet/funny/adorable) I did as a baby or toddler would flash in her memory and it would help her get over it. I can safely say this is how it works for me too. 

I mean there's no way my kids are going to meet every arbitrary milestone and make only perfect decisions. Things could get "bumpy" any minute/soon and the one thing that centers me is thinking about how much must be going on in their lives right now, because all they ever did was always only sweet/funny/adorable once. (And in the meantime, I bite my tongue until someone asks for my advice.)

Actually, I think it works for everyone i.e., people who aren't kids in my life too. I think it was in a Jennifer Weiner novel, where the protagonist finally finds a way to get along with her unhelpful MIL by thinking back to her being a neglected baby. I've frequently used that trick to find compassion and understanding for people when they're being jerks.

Pic: My loves--Max, Huck, Nu, and At--hanging out for a moment before we headed to the temple for New Year's Day blessings yesterday. I hope they'll always find warm, cozy places to rest... and that I can make those places for them if they need me to.

Monday, January 01, 2024

leap

How tired the world
how long the way
how we have been 
survivors for over
365 days

may the new year 
be kind, enormous,
hold us in peace
may it gently--
24/7--teach us

to resist, to vary 
history's encore--
the hum of hope
its own language
in 2024
__________________________
Other New Year's Day poems:

Pic: Our holiday card!

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Resurfacing

I'm back; it was bad. At least I don't have to do it for another year. I have little recollection of the past 36 hours. I woke up so weak, wobbly, and very sad from my fever dreams.

I would have liked to start the new year with all my household chores completed, but I think I'm going to be easy on myself.

Pic: MIL's sister posted this picture that was taken in 1922 (so over a hundred years old!) of their dad--he's the toddler bottom left. The young boy beside him looks so much like Big A! I think this is the most number of people I've seen in a single photo... I wonder what the occasion was.

#LaterPost

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

it's beginning to look

a lot like a bit like Christmas. CF, my dear friend who moved to South Carolina sent us a beautiful Christmas centerpiece, JG sent us treats from Sunnyland Farms, AK sent a blooming amaryllis, SV made a donation in memory of Scout. It seems my girlfriends are into sending things that are more like experiences, and I love it.

Counterbalance: My uncle told me that there had been a fire in my sister's office building in Bangalore. My sis then sent me a video of the 20-story fire. Scary. A student whose poetry I love received a rejection. Sad. One thinks we'd be able to protect the people we care about from harm or disappointment, but we're so limited.

Pic: CF's centerpiece--I lit the candles to send her a thank you photo. Bonus peek of Nu snacking in the kitchen.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

DND

After krampus-ing hard yesterday, JN declared this a DND (do nothing day). I guess it works as a "Do Not Disturb day" as well. I love it. I'm going to use it. Someday.

Final grades are due soon, so it wasn't really an option to do absolutely nothing. But I built lots of nice stuff into the day--I got a massage, I went on a ramble with L, a long walk with Big A, then family dinner with At.

It was DND lite.

Pic: Goodbye from the puppet theater. My parents gave the kids this puppet theater when they were little--I think Nu was less than two years old. It showed up to lots of birthday celebrations and we accumulated quite a collection of hand puppets and finger puppets all put to great use by the "narrOator" (At's version of "narrator" 🙂💗). It lived in the rumpus room for a long time and then in Nu's Room for years. But for a year now, it's been hanging out in the upstairs hallway because no one wants it. I've known it should go to another house where some other kids can love it, but it was a bit difficult letting go as it bears so many memories of the younger versions of my kids, my parents, me... 

Anyway, when At came to dinner this evening, I got a few last pictures of them together at the puppet theater. I'm lucky my kids are so indulgent.

Friday, December 08, 2023

"praying for peace/living with love"

The world is so beautiful and the world is so terrifying. Over 17,000 people have been killed by bombs and gunfire in the past eight weeks... It's so strange how I still go about as if everything is ok... Although my country vetoed a humanitarian ceasefire yet again. 

I think of the children holding a press conference in English--a language foreign to them--to beg the world not to bomb them. And yet, over 7000 Gazan children have been killed in just these two months; many thousands more are maimed and injured for life. I think in particular about the mother holding her lifeless baby saying she took 580 IVF injections to have him; the tender searchers in the rubble after every airstrike. I think of how many hospitals, schools, and homes have been bombed, the patients, medical staff, students, teachers, and families in them evanesced. No poem can contain my grief. Nothing can calm my disbelief that this is happening so publicly... so blatantly.

Sunny Singh, who has always been so kind to me and my students lost a friend today--he was a fellow teacher of English and a poet. His name was Refaat al-Aareer. In a better world I might have met him some day at a reading or a conference or in someone's home. And he is just one of thousands who is gone suddenly and too soon with their hopes and dreams still pending. This is a poem he wrote last week:

If I must die

you must live to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail)
so that a child,
somewhere in Gaza
while looking heaven
in the eye awaiting his
dad who left in a blaze-
and bid no one farewell
not even to his flesh not even to himself-
sees the kite,
my kite you made,
flying up above
and thinks for a moment an angel is there bringing back love
If I must die
let it bring hope
let it be a tale
_______________

Pic: Baker Woods with RS yesterday. She asked me if it would look bad if she celebrated Hanukkah with all that is going on. I told her we'd be lighting lamps with Nu (Big A's great grandparents were Jewish and there is a family menorah/hanukkiah). I'm glad we have celebrations. I want us to put away our bombs and celebrate life. (I saw the words I used for the title of this post on a church's marquee this morning on my way to work.)

Monday, December 04, 2023

Five-year-old me

What would my childhood self think about grownup me? 

I've been thinking about it since Nance mentioned that she keeps her kindergarten picture on her dresser to remind her "of the little girl who wanted to be a teacher and a mom. I look at her often and think about how so many of her dreams came true and then some. It helps me stay grateful."

I'm five in this picture, and my favorite thing was to line up my sister, our ayah, and the dolls in my playroom to play school--with me as the teacher. So I think five-year-old me would be thrilled that I grew up to be a teacher and tickled to know I have kids and puppies of my own--I think they'd find that part really hilarious. Back then, the expectation to be "good" was intense--I wonder what five-year-old me would think of my daily quest to be a better person, to keep learning... When I was little, I was always afraid of being orphaned (I read too much even back then), so I wish I'd known my parents would know their grandkids...

Like Nance, I too am grateful that so many of my dreams have come true--even dreams I did not yet know to have for myself. I can see myself at ten or eleven lying on the terrace looking up at planes and wondering (not even wishing, really) *if* I would have a job, if I would fly on a plane (only my parents had flown at this point), and if anyone would fall in love with me. 

Pic: An old B&W portrait of my family (dad, sis, mom, me). I remember so clearly that my dress was a very pale pink and white with a soft collar and square white buttons with a pink inlay; my sister's dress was a hand-me-down from me, it had been a favorite until I grew out of it--I called it the "peacock frock" because it cascaded in overlapping "feathers" and had a deep blue embroidered motif on each. I'm pretty sure my mom's organza sari is orange with white polka dots. When the square belt buckle (buttons and buckle were all purely decorative) on my dress fell off, I used it as a tool at my art table to scrape excess crayon off the paper and even out the colors. I wore a school uniform to school, and "play" clothes at home; I had a very small collection of "fancy" clothes to wear to parties, the club, and so on and I remember most of them quite fondly. My sister was wearing a corrective leg brace at that point, which is why my parents are holding her hands on either side. No one is holding my hand... I wonder what I seem so pleased about... Wow. I did not expect to remember so much. And look at my HAIRY forehead!! lol

hanging in there/hanging by a thread: a week of random things I thought about with A in the hospital

Wednesday, July 10:  Big A's healthcare team doesn't have a clear way forward, so neither do we. But I found the buttons to move his...