“You deserve it,” he says. I’m awkwardly silent. I feel more curiosity than satisfaction. Why do I deserve it? Would I be entitled to it even if I didn’t deserve it? Does it matter whether I deserve it? Other people deserve it, too, so why didn’t they get it? Am I somehow special? My charmed…

By the time I was thirteen I’d concluded that dreaming would not get me that hot pink paisley swimsuit with ruffles on display in the junior department of the Brandeis Department store downtown. I’d been babysitting for years and knew that only money from my summer nanny job and a layaway plan would. Instead of…

His rail thin body looked childlike under the sheets. At 35 his once muscular body could no longer stand without someone holding him up.  AIDS was about to take his life. The lessons I learned from my brother Tim that November were lost on me then. 25 years later, I see. I didn’t know that…

Interior of Saint Cecilia’s Cathedral I dress in my Sunday best. I arrive in time to take a seat next to her mother and grandmother.  I tuck the narrow gold satin ribbon into the page for hymn #483. Simultaneously I’m an outsider and I am at home. It is confirmation day for young Sophia, whom…

Flowers on the altar, photos of loved ones, food that was their favorite—Dia de Los Muertos arrives each November 1 and we celebrate the “Day of the Dead” with friends. We honor those we have loved and lost. We take turns sharing stories and memories of those who’ve left this earth, but their impact remains….

She blended right in with the throng of cheering fans. She jumped up to cheer final winning shot by the star of her former high school’s basketball team. But as Victoria walked out the gym door, I saw seriousness rather than celebration on her face. “How are you, Victoria?” I asked. “I’m stressed.” “What’s up?”…

Her dark hair hung over her face as she furiously took notes. She barely spoke the entire semester. But she heard my “Me too.” My lecture that week in my Women and the Law course was on domestic violence. I wanted these future lawyers to have an understanding beyond the legal definition of “credible threat”…

I always note the day. Each year on the first Monday of October the United States Supreme Court begins its session. A wave of anxiety annually washes over me as I think of how lives and futures of countless Americans will be changed by decisions placed in the hands of nine people. I have fretted…

I was sitting in the hospital waiting room. My friend was getting a new hip and I was happy to await the news of a successful surgery. I’d been doing my best to ignore the latest daily bad news of our country running nonstop on the big screen television when my phone alert popped up….

“My name is Peggy. May I help you?”  “Peggy,” I said, pausing for the surprise little lump in my throat  “I really hope you can.” I was embarrassed by my emotion. Years ago I placed countless calls to cancel my husband’s name on accounts and remove it from many charity mailing lists. That was an…