Alan Blum ~
Ann Anderson Evans ~
I arrive in the memory unit at 1:30 in the afternoon. Jean, my mother's sister, is fast asleep in her hospital bed in Room 1410. For the past ten years, it has fallen to me to be her frequent visitor and care monitor. I do this willingly because without her generosity and compassion, my life would have been far less meaningful and enjoyable. She never married, but my brothers and I honored her on Mother's Day. My brothers sometimes drive here from their distant homes for a bedside family reunion.
During her decades of charitable work, Jean was named Recycler of the Decade by the New Jersey Department of the Environment, received the New Jersey Pride Award from the governor and chaired the New Jersey Audubon Society. Except by a few elderly colleagues, she's been forgotten in the outside world.
Johanna Shapiro ~
After my husband's ocular stroke,
we wondered about the risk of a "real one."
said the busy physician.
"What can we do?"
"Take a baby aspirin--
and live life to the fullest."
We took this prescription to the pharmacist,
who gave us the aspirin
but added, "You're on your own for the rest."
Leigh B. Grossman ~
The clinic in rural Haiti is a small stucco building with no electricity or running water. The temperature inside the clinic is 103 degrees, and there is no breeze. The examining-room walls are only seven feet high and afford no privacy.
This is my fourteenth trip to Haiti as a volunteer pediatrician. My twenty-fifth patient of the morning is a three-month-old infant named Joceylyn Marquee, who is completely swaddled in a dirty blanket and is carried in by her mother, Lucie.
In our tiny cubicle, Lucie sits with Joceylyn on her lap. The interpreter, Fredeson, and I are also seated. We're all so close together that our knees touch. The acrid smell of human dirt, sweat and anxiety permeates the small space.
Fredeson translates the child's story to me while Lucie, a small, tired, very thin woman in her late twenties, dressed in her finest church clothes, carefully unwraps her baby.