In order to know yourself, you need to understand where and even who you came from, and in my life, that’s a lot. These larger than life icons informed most everything that defines me, from their striking curiosity about life to their endless devotion to family. Through my mother’s eyes I learned nothing but admiration for her two older sisters. The eldest possessing a brilliant mind that saw no limits, making the cliche of a life-long learner her mantra. The middle sister organized like no other, from the Director of Early Education for the New York City Board of Education to most every niece or nephews’ birthday party: doing both jobs with equal furor. My mother, the youngest, brought the big laugh and warm embrace, turning acquaintances into best friends with ease. But the sisters were entwined in such a way that they shared their strengths, their capabilities, and even their truths. If I didn’t know that when I was a child observing them as distinctive entities, I learned it when first my mother passed, and then another sister, until the oldest was the last one to call me Moira love. She made sure to love me with every bit of her sisters’ traits, and watch over me until her final days. At nearly 98 when she passed on March 1st, her care for my heart and soul was more of a gift than I could ever repay, keeping all her sisters alive within me: all their separation dissolved.
Category Archives: Family
in sickness and in health
Sure health and wealth and party vibes are mostly what I love to remember when I think of my past three decades being married to this one. The pastel sunsets and dance floors, the brimming table with family laughing through the holidays and the nights of crazy merrymaking until we dropped, mostly documented with silly selfies and glam shots but nonetheless all seared into memory. Thanks to social media we can look like the rest of the shiny populous celebrating every coffee or salad in joyful glee. But the real test of this marriage, and I will say yours too, is how you creep through the hard stuff. Together we have buried all four of our parents. Mourned friends who passed too young. Lost our home. Lost jobs. Held our children as they shattered over breakups or disappointments. We have stood united. And fallen apart. Indeed we have for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, forged a solid bond.
What I Never Really Understood About My Father
If you know me at all, you know that my father was not only a doctor of medicine, but a surgeon. I am the first to give this information out. Pride for sure directs this pronouncement, but also because the title was who he was to the world around me. His hands had that careful attention, that steady strength, a surety that I and his patients could rely on. His journey to achieve his professional status was a place of pride too. I grew up hearing stories of how his family all worked together to fund his college education, his long hours of study that earned him scholarships to medical school, his dedication to master his craft: all of it rolled into that one title added to his name, Doctor Donovan. There were odd days here or there when I’d accompany him on hospital rounds or visit him in his office at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, but regardless of everything I thought I knew about what his professional responsibilities were, last Friday afternoon it struck me, I knew nothing.