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Parenting from Kindness

The little boy, a pint-sized bundle of energy, squatted on the sidewalk, a tiny stick in his hand, no more than a leaf stem. He had turned a grey centipede over with the stick and watched the bug shake its many legs. The boy seemed curious. “Honey,” how would you feel if I turned you over on your back and poked you in the tummy?” the young mother asked her son. Bright sunlight glistened on the sidewalk, wet from sprinklers that had just turned off. The little boys knees were scuffed, scratched, the way little boys knees often are. His feet were bare. He stared at the squirming bug, thoughtful. “We choose kindness,” the young mother said, her voice soft, firm. The little boy looked back and forth between his Mama and the bug.  He thought.  He righted the bug. The Mama ruffled her son’s hair and hugged him.  He…

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The Soloist

December 9, 2022

Author’s note: Fiction is a mysterious mix of truth and imagination. I offer this fictional story in memory of my Grandma Sandel whose presence at my high school Christmas concerts meant everything to me. A silvery ribbon of soprano, my voice hung in the still air of the high school auditorium. A spotlight illuminated a…

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Miracles

December 8, 2022

Our expressions were quizzical. We stared at an 11X14 white paper that had six squares on it, each drawn to look like a television screen. My late husband, Jim, and I were in Cincinnati attending a Reality Therapy workshop with trainer Bob Wubbolding. We had been instructed to create a story board – a visual…

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Midnight Mass

December 7, 2022

St. Hedwig’s Church was poised, expectant, still. My family, Ma, Dad, me, Laura, Carol, Michael, and James, filed into the church in a Polish neighborhood of Detroit for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. My father chose a pew near the high altar, and we scooted into the row between the creaky wooden benches, the rock-hard…

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Nailed Rest

December 7, 2022

This was a woman’s place — a somewhat glitzy, somewhat faded, somewhat cluttered nail salon. The nail techs were women – all from Vietnam, all petite, most with dark hair and all with lovely Asian features. From the tiny older woman with the lined face, her grey hair pulled into a tight bun at the…

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Love’s Mojo

December 5, 2022

“I’m crying,” my sister, Laura, said, as she explained over the phone to the radio show host why she couldn’t speak. She was on Facebook livestream with Mojo in the Morning, a popular 95.5 FM Detroit-area radio show. Laura’s black puffer coat blended into the dark early morning; frost bitten with Michigan’s winter chill. She…

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Lovingkindess

December 4, 2022

Oh, break my heart Break open, wide, and vast and unlimited Break open, as memories Of loved ones passed Flood into and radiate Deep shadows. Oh, break my heart Embrace the flash of Love. On November 18, 2022, William Ronald Pfeffer, my late husband’s brother left this side of life. As I lit the candle…

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To Forbear

December 3, 2022

There is a space no longer than the blink of an eye, between event and reaction. It is there that all manner of sacred possibility resides. The person on the end of the phone had just launched a bomb targeted at my inner peace. I gasped out loud. Words of retaliation marched to the tip…

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Ever-green Awe

December 3, 2022

Ever-green Awe “We can’t pick a Christmas tree until it sings to me,” I said. Incredulous looks. Raised eyebrows. Pained expressions. My dear late husband, Jim, and my precious current husband, Bill, share a few common denominators, and one of them was disbelief that I listened to trees to discover which one wanted to grace…

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Sacred Wait

December 1, 2022

“Try to enjoy this time,” my obstetrician, Dr. Arvin said. Her curly brown hair bounced against her cheeks and her eyes sparkled with mirth. Awaiting the birth of my first, and only child, I was almost two weeks overdue. Mirrored in her glasses, I saw my cream-colored belly, as big as a house. The exam…

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Shadowed Heart

November 30, 2022

“I’ve tried to forgive myself, God, but I can only come so far,” I said, in a heartfelt prayer to an autumn sky heavy with rain-soaked clouds. I knelt beside the Rose of Sharon bush that I’d planted next to the house in memory of my father-in-law. Summer blooms of white and purple flowers had…

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