Brain Dead

Have you ever walked into a room on a mission only to find you have no idea why you came in the first place? For me, it’s a constant battle. My blind eyes never see because my glasses are lost on top of my head. The car won’t start because I’ve misplaced my keys usually in the black hole I call my purse, and my four children are close to disowning me because I tell them the same story over and over. But my […]

Worth the Price of Admission

As the pharmacist pushed the 12” x 4” inch box across the counter, fear created searing heat that flushed my face. Seeing the apprehension in my eyes, the man in his pure white lab coat seemed sympathetic as he nudged the box a little closer. Then he giggled, “Better you than me.”

All my life, I’ve been diligent about my doctor’s appointments. I’ve been poked, prodded, scanned, pricked, and squashed. I’d gone through every possible medical investigation except one – a colonoscopy.

It wasn’t that I […]

The Time of My Life

As I stood at the Chevron gas pump, I saw my sweet friend, Carol Simmermacher Smith, bounding up to me from the street. Out of breath, she shouted, “I just took a bike ride the other day with my husband and daughter!” As she beamed with excitement, all I could think was, What a horrible way to spend your day.

Riding a bike was never one of my favorite activities, and certainly never resulted in my finer moments. Sitting on those hard seats was excruciating, […]

The Importance for Being Punctual

“There’s a reason a set time is given for most everything,” my mother said, staring at her 12-year-old daughter with narrow, “Miss Manners” eyes. “Turning up late is just plain rude.”

I could understand the importance of being punctual for a birthday celebration, but school was a different matter. It was bad enough I had to go, let alone arrive on the dot.

“What about being fashionably late?” I quizzed. “People do it all the time.”

“Being fashionably late is just being selfish. What if everyone thought […]

We all Need to be Our Own Advocate

In March of 1973, Los Altos was experiencing the explosion of springtime. Hillsides were awash in emerald green and fruit trees were laden with pink and white popcorn-esque blossoms. The hint of ensuing warm weather brought excitement to city dwellers and one could not help but feel re-born. All except my mother.

Lassie Pearce Madden was an intuitive woman. So perceptive that I often thought she had psychic powers for she seemed to be able to sense the trouble her children were about to get […]

A Way to Never Forget

As the afternoon sun poured through the sliding glass window, I Velcroed my nine-year-old body against the kitchen wall to feel its warmth. It dripped down my tummy like hot fudge over vanilla ice cream. I closed my eyes and prepared to daydream, but as the darkness engulfed me, fear overwhelmed my thoughts.

“Mom, what’s it like to be dead?” I probed tentatively as she prepared dinner.

She looked over her shoulder, penciled eyebrows in a perfect arch, and giggled, “I have no idea. I’m not […]