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Showing posts from April, 2009

Laughter After Auschwitz

The other night Dave and I stayed up late to watch an hour-long show on PBS titled "Swimming in Auschwitz"; it was a compilation of interviews of 6 different women, and since it ran without commercials, Dave and I were sucked in until the end. Each of the women lost one or more family members in their stay at the camp; all had an admirable composure and dignity in retelling their stories, and one of the women was even able to recount some of her memories there with laughter. Laughter.
Something I have been learning to appreciate more and more lately are the loving and good-tempered elders in the world. You know who I mean, the people one or two or three generations ahead of us who care about others and are genuinely good-natured. I think they are so precious because they seem to be markedly rare. In my growing appreciation for such people I also have been obtaining a growing knowledge about how hard living is; that gratitude, of all the disciplines, gets more difficult with t…

Spring

Certain sensations have a way of bringing back memories with stark clarity. My father's cologne is a familiar and distinct smell that goes back to my childhood and warm nights spent playing board games on the carpet as a family. When I was even younger and we still lived in that apartment on 13th Avenue I began to associate the smell of coffee with my Aunt Susan, who used to live on the floor below us. 
But years from now, what will bring me back to the early days of my marriage are the smells of Spring and the chiming of church bells.
There are few places in the world that can really truly appreciate the tender hope that spring brings with its budding weeks, but I believe Ohio is one of those places. Winter is our longest season, and it's icy and windy and wet and miserable; a good snowfall is a rare treat, and when we still get snow in April it ceases to be a treat at all. But when the good holidays end after the first of the year, and January follows December like an icy punc…

Day 122

Marriage is:
Finding Out How Awesomely Your Husband Handles Conflict I could not brag big enough to describe how amazing my Dave is in handling our arguments. Calmly and with a twinkle of humor, he'll take his emotionally over-wrought wife when she's defensive and stubborn and inarticulate and force her to sit down (even if it takes dragging her to the couch and pinning her down) and work through it NOW so it can be done and over with. His conflict skills are revolutionary for me - you mean you can be mad at me AND still love me just as much? You mean it's ok and normal that I make mistakes?? WHY HAVEN'T I GOTTEN THIS MEMO BEFORE? And more, we usually both end up laughing at the end.
The Good Made Better and the Bad Made Worse Shortly after I got married, unmarried friends were asking me what being married was like. And with all my deep experience of, oh, a month, the first thing I was able to articulate was this: "The good things are a lot better, but the bad stuff i…