Andrea Eisenberg ~
Seeing patients in my ob/gyn office this morning, I try to stave off the mild nervousness rumbling inside of me. My good friend Monica is having a C-section this afternoon, and I'm performing it.
We met ten years ago, when I walked my three-year-old daughter into Monica's preschool classroom for the first time. Monica sat on the floor, a child in her lap and others playing around her. Like them, I felt drawn by her calm, soothing manner and infectious laugh.
Over time, our friendship grew: At school or social gatherings, we always ended up giggling together. We took family trips together, trained together for marathons and supported each other through heartaches--my divorce, the closing of her childcare business--and our respective struggles to find new paths.
Richard Weiss ~
At two am its insistent ring ambushes me awake.
I whisper, not wanting to disturb my wife or rouse
the dog who will whine for food, write down
the name and number before it's jumbled, swallow
my resentment on being awakened and listen
to his story--then ask those practiced questions,
scrolling his body from one organ to another.
Tell me about the pain--what it feels like--pressure
or a vise, does it stab, sear, rip, ache, is it steady
Ronna Edelstein ~
Announce to friends that you have cancer, and they will probably react with sympathy and compassion. Tell them that you've broken your leg, and they'll offer to get your groceries and drive you to medical appointments.
Share that you suffer from depression--and the sound of silence will fill your head.
Depression has been my companion for as long as I can remember. My maternal grandmother, who immigrated to this country from Romania, spent her days struggling to raise four children in a land whose customs and language she never learned. Her husband, my grandfather, rarely stayed home; when not traveling to eke out a living as a peddler, he would socialize with his cronies at a park or synagogue. In his later years, twice widowed and living in a nursing home, he set fire to his own leg as an expression of his inner unhappiness.