fierce attachments

a mother-daughter blog about the fierce attachments in our lives… title inspired by Vivian Gornick's wonderful memoir

Tag: family life

living with chronic pain – someone else’s: part 2

by nikki meredith

chopping vegetablesMy husband walks in the door from work. I’m in the kitchen chopping vegetables.  He kisses me and asks how I am. I shrug and then place the tips of my three middle fingers over my right eye – the sign that I have a migraine.   “Oh no,” he says. “I’m so sorry.” And he does look sorry though I wonder how he can keep feeling sorry when it’s  such a frequent occurrence. But even more than that, I wonder, why do I do this to him? Why do I need to tell him?

It’s easier for me to answer why I shouldn’t tell him than why I do.  I shouldn’t tell him because I assume that the hardest part of living with someone with a painful medical condition is the feeling of helplessness. I know how I feel when he’s suffering from any malady, large or small, especially if there’s nothing I can do to make him better.  When you love someone, you want to alleviate his or her suffering and when you can’t, it’s terrible. And when you can’t alleviate the suffering, over and over and over again, it must be terrible over and over and over again.  So, I repeat, why do I tell him? If I love him, why don’t I spare him this ordeal? Read the rest of this entry »


my life in a novel

by caitlin meredith

This weekend I read my mom’s first novel for the second time. The first time I read it, almost three years ago, it was a surreal experience. Though fiction, many of the characters and scenarios in the book are based on what has really happened in my life, in our family. It is a wonderful book – not because it copies reality, but because it uses the same material to draw out a different, equally rich, realistic and compelling narrative. Seeing how my mom channeled all of the real life ingredients into an entirely new concoction gave me a keyhole view into a creative mind; I’ve never been so close to an artist.

Reading the book was the opportunity to view my life, my family’s life, through the glass. From afar everyone else’s life can seem so much richer, more intense, especially in books or movies. The day to day of my own life, or the slog of family dynamics, just doesn’t seem interesting most of the time. In a novel, especially this one, scenes come alive, people are wittier, life is layered and plays out in a larger-than-life way. Much of that has to do with what a great writer my mom is, but also the importance that a life is afforded just by the very act of recording it. If there’s something to write about, it must be extraordinary. Read the rest of this entry »

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