The Enormous Heart

There I was, marching down the same Hartford Hospital corridor I had once walked when my husband received his kidney transplant: a slippery, gray corridor; fluorescent lights above.

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Daily Prayers

When our new homeroom teacher entered the room in early September, we did the same thing we’d been doing for years together: we rose and began, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…” ready to begin the day. But Sister Robert Joseph came with her own idea of prayer.

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Autobiography Of A Pencil

A pencil changed my life forever. I was in eighth grade sharing a class with sixty other students. Sixty students and one teacher – that is the student-teacher ratio in an average Indian classroom. Mrs. Poornima Kumar, our English teacher, commanded utmost respect even among us unruly adolescents. Always impeccably dressed in her...

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Family Ties

Until I was fourteen years old, I had never had anyone close to me die. When I met Marlene's parents, I was seven; while she was still my dad's girlfriend. On the day before Passover, after a four hour drive, we arrived in Walpole, Massachusetts. We got out of the car, took our bags, and buzzed up to the apartment with the name Harvey under it. There was another buzz, the door opened, and we went in.

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The Story of Rose

I was the nurse assigned to Rose that evening shift in the Coronary Care Unit. Three days prior, she had suffered a heart attack. As I made my rounds and introduced myself, her petite body seemed frail and nearly invisible beneath the white-weave blanket. Though of the age where women color their hair blue-gray and wear it in tight...

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The Gunny

Stop lollygagging, ladies. Get your asses in gear!” That was the first voice I heard outside our room early on the first morning of PreFlight training. I rolled over, groaned when I saw 5:00 am on the clock, sat up, and bumped into two legs dangling from the bunk above me. Across the room two other bodies staggered around in early morning disarray. The booming voice outside our room continued down the hall, shouting out greetings. “Muster, Gentlemen, in front of the barracks, is at O Five Fifteen. That’s fifteen minutes after five to you one-time civilians. You’re on military time now. You ain’t civilians any more.

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From Father to Daughter

The morning sun warms my father’s wavy gray hair as we stand in the field among the blue spruces. It’s my first time planting a tree: he shows me how to dig, pushing down on the edge of the shovel with my foot, then teaching me how to mold and flatten the earth around my sapling. There isn’t much conversation, just a quiet companionship, as enduring and solid as the earth beneath our feet.

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Albanian Orphan

A green-eyed child in torn shorts asked for the gum from my mouth as I waited at customs in Tirana, Albania. I had just arrived with a group of volunteers who had been asked to work in and assess orphanages in what was then “the poorest country in the world.” Since a child born out of wedlock was not accepted in this country, and “no man raises another man’s child,” we were told the orphanages were black holes where babies and children were warehoused.

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In My Own Words

© Joyce Jacobson As a teenager, I wrote in secret, finding it difficult to put my work out there in classes or workshops. If I could not write honestly, I would not write. I was closeted at work, with family, friends and neighbors. But a closet is too dark a place for writing, though from time to time I used a flashlight, or hid my...

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Angel in the Subway

Cool, damp air brushed my cheeks as I walked down the stairs into the dimly lit tunnel of the el station on State and Jackson. Familiar odors of dirt-soaked cement, rusted steel and stale wood floated on the tunnel breezes. Imagining what strangers or critters I might see...

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