After a particularly contentious custody battle in the 1970s, my mother reluctantly loaded me onto an Amtrak train bound for Monterey — and my father. When I arrived — a mere 350 miles north of our home in Los Angeles — it was as though my eight-year old self had stepped onto another planet. My father was clearly participating in every activity that might come to mind from the time period, none of which particularly lended itself to hands-on parenting. Therefore, I was mostly free to come and go as I pleased. …


Way back in January, Kippy and I met under terrible circumstances: her daughter Haley’s boyfriend Greg had been in a serious accident and airlifted to the hospital where my sister had just delivered my niece prematurely. I was in the lobby trying to get change to purchase something from the vending machine when I noticed two blonde women in the corner by the windows; I was upon them before I realized that one was in tears — Haley. Still, I asked: did they happen to have change for a twenty? Kippy reached into her wallet: I don’t have change but…


Years ago, when my kids were small, and we were in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving— at the home of my mother — my then six-year old daughter Reese asked me one morning: Was this house where you were born? Is this where you’re from?

No, honey, I said. This is Mimi’s house. I wasn’t born here exactly.

Well, where then, Mama?

I could have said I was born at Cedars Sinai Hospital, the old Cedars in Hollywood, before they tore it down and built the fancy new one, where the celebrities now line up for their births and lipos.

I…


Usually, with trauma and grief, there’s a single person or a couple or one family who is at the core of what’s happened. I love psychologist Susan Silk’s theory on how to be most helpful to the person(s) suffering: she says you should think of the afflicted — say the person with the illness or the individual who has lost a partner — in the center of a very small circle. Then you draw a circle in your mind around them — that circle is the person who is closest to the one(s) in the center. …


Before my daughter was even twenty-four hours old, I was learning to let go.

I am not good at letting go. I am the opposite of letting go; I am holding tight, I am arm in arm, bear hugs, hands clasped. I am all up in your business. And yet, the morning after my daughter was born I found myself listening to the tiniest, kindest pediatrician tell me that my daughter has a “concerning case of jaundice” and will have to be “put under the lights” around the clock, only to come out for feedings every three hours.

Receiving this…

Geralyn Broder Murray

A writer trying to make sense of it all. www.bigshotwriter.com

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