December 2, 2023

My girlfriends made a behavior of crushing on my huge brother John. Precisely why, I had no clue. He was bespectacled, skinny, an honor roll man — no jacked heartthrob. Karen T., Betsy B., had they ever actually been my associates, or had been they only utilizing me to get inside flirting vary of my brother? John didn’t thoughts the eye, however feeling like a steppingstone shook my 15-year-old confidence. Would anybody ever like me for me? My brother’s finest good friend Sam had the reply. Forty-seven years, six youngsters, two grandchildren later, I’m inclined to consider him. — Laura Hurwitz

Summer time 2017, we meet at my grandmother’s home in Goa, brown limbs uncovered and mango juice dripping down our elbows. I’ve by no means seen anybody extra lovely. I inform her, “I’ll stick with you right here endlessly.” “I do know,” she replies, unaware of how strongly I really feel. Six years later, I am going to her marriage ceremony with a bouquet of low cost flowers and a greeting card. “Congratulations,” I say, however we all know I truly imply “goodbye.” She offers me her mango stained smile. “Thanks for coming!” she says. “Are you considering of getting married?” “Sure,” I say. “Sure,” I lie. — Maya Ribeiro

“Why aren’t there extra footage with Mother in them?” I requested my sister as we ready a slide present for our mom’s funeral. We discovered loads of images of ourselves, together with yearly poses beneath the silver Christmas tree and within the entrance yard with our yellow Easter attire and white sneakers. We studied our smiling faces on the Jersey Shore with our grandparents and at campsites with Dad. However the place was Mother? And whose finger was that generally masking the digital camera lens? Ah! It was Mother. In fact. Mother was at all times behind the digital camera, dutifully capturing our recollections. Thanks, Mother. — Lori Tripp Peckham

Frank was older than me: 75 to my 54. How one can title our relationship, as soon as we coupled? My good friend? Too informal. My boyfriend? Ridiculous for somebody pushing 80. My companion? Too businesslike in my thoughts. Frank known as me his roommate, or “roomie.” Years handed. His well being diminished, requiring frequent medical appointments. Citing privateness, nurses requested me: Was I household? A caregiver? Anticipating his decline, our bond deepened. We wanted totally different names: husband and spouse. Now I’m his widow, a reputation I put on with unhappiness however gratitude for our life collectively. Love has many names. Frank had turn into my all the things. — Laurel Hunt

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