Loss and Longing

I was only half-listening to a song on the radio, yet a wave of sadness overcame me for the loss of my father. The song had nothing to do with my dad nor did my mood, as I was content and even joyful before the song played. Grief is like this. I am at the market, picking grapes to place into my cart and immediately I am taken back to my childhood, shopping with Dad. He is not only selecting the grapes, but he is eating them. “You can’t do that, Daddy. That’s stealing.” Today, I smile with a bittersweet memory, enveloped with loss and longing, wishing he could eat the grapes again regardless of the theft. Continue reading “Loss and Longing”

Journey To Healing

Author Barbara Jaffe, like millions of other children, understood by the age of ten that if her brother hadn’t died, she would not have been born. When her parents contemplated a life for her surviving brother, Stephen, they decided that he should have a replacement for his deceased brother, so Barbara was born. Barbara’s mother was thrilled to have had a girl after two boys, and while she claimed she was elated to have a daughter, her actions often reflected otherwise, for, like many replacement children, Barbara’s gender was in stark contrast to the little boy they had loved and lost. On the one hand, her mother frequently reminded her that a daughter was special, but Barbara felt that she never seemed to live up to the model her mother envisioned for her daughter. She always fell short. And falling short—never being adequate, satisfactory, “enough”–became the subtext of her life as she moved from childhood through adulthood. Continue reading “Journey To Healing”