Posts tagged “grandparents”

  1. The existence of the authors suggested a way to live and work within institutions that didn’t involve giving up parts of myself, and their books suggested that fear was not an inappropriate response to the world — that there was real violence at play, violence felt not just by me, but by everyone.

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  2. Like many Jewish grandmothers, my grandmother's measure of success for her granddaughters is babies. (For her grandsons, it’s a medical degree and babies.) This is nothing new. But for Grandma Eva, a great-grandbaby holds special significance. She reminds me of this fact often, in ways she thinks are subtle, discreet. That’s great that you got into graduate school/are moving to New York/landed a teaching gig, but what about boys? Work isn’t everything, you know. Her…

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  3. When I was a kid I spent the better part of August standing with my grandfather on the spongy dirt floor of his basement, canning tomatoes and making sausages amid the smell of mold and mud. Even in the dead of winter, when the earth was frozen and the atmosphere static, the basement’s mustiness was inescapable. If you only went down there for a minute— to grab a jar of pickles or bring up an…

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  4. A few months ago, I kissed my grandfather’s rough-shaven face, told him I loved him, and walked out of his hospital room. I knew I probably wouldn’t see him again, even though the doctor said he might have a few more months to live. My husband and I live with our two small children in central Virginia, and my grandparents live in southern Ohio, about seven hours across the mountains. I saw him a few hours…

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  5. When I was seven years old, my grandparents began a squatter’s garden over empty city land. They had already dug up our entire backyard and planted it with Asian vegetables. They killed the lawn and my mother’s flower patch. They razed my sandbox. Wearing wide straw hats, and smocks sewn together from fabric scraps, they tore up the land from our back steps up to our tall white fence, littering it with tarps, planks of…

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  6. (1) The only photograph I have ever seen of my grandfather was taken at my mother’s wedding. He doesn’t look happy to be there. A thin man with a long face, his twiglike hair invites comparisons to a scarecrow. His eyes sank decades ago and his lips lie flat. He wears a somber gray jacket that looks mournful next to his wife’s bright pink dress and shy, doelike smile. My parents got married in the…

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