Will the Dishwasher End Us?
Big fight today before grocery shopping about the proper way to load knives into the dishwasher. A small yet pivotal moment in our shelter-at-home lives. Do we cause a scene in the Trader Joe’s line? Do we forgo collaboration on the grocery list? It’s drizzling, gray. The people behind us are a little too close. He’s wearing the jacket that my father gave him. I laugh, pull him toward me, say, “This is the dumbest fight I’ve ever been in.” He nods, kisses me. If we have to be stuck, at least we’re stuck together. — Madison Olivieri
As Our World Shrinks, Hers Expands
Our 3-month-old decided that she no longer wants to sleep. Not forever, we hope. But for now. As new parents, we are learning, like everyone during this pandemic, to take it one day at a time. While our worlds condense into two-hour sleep stretches and 2,000 square feet of self-isolation, our daughter’s world continues to expand. We find solace in her small wonders: her fingers tracing the lines of our faces, her delight in the guitar, our silly dancing, the range of her newfound voice. Today, there is hope in her tiny universe. We hold it fiercely. — Charity Yoro
I Sang to Him During Our Final Passover
My husband, Stanley, adored the Passover Seders. He relished the drama, the songs, the rituals, the food, the company. Last April, he was unresponsive in terminal care, cancer having metastasized to his brain. By his bedside I conducted the Seders on the two requisite evenings. He did not react, except for once during the second Seder. They say hearing is the last sense to go. As I sang his favorite song from the Haggadah, Stanley’s tears were a powerful demonstration of this being so. He died 23 hours after the second Seder, not wanting to miss either one. — Zelda R. Stern
Venturing Into the Unknown, Together
Twenty years ago, in a tiny apartment in Charlottesville, Va., young and nervous, we signed a marriage certificate, ate some cake, held hands and ventured into a lifetime of international work. Two teenagers later, with more gray hair than I ever imagined, we feel as uncertain about life as we did back then. Now, in our too-big home in Harare, Zimbabwe, we are not holding hands (my husband is quarantining after travel). I look at him across the room; his familiar face and kind eyes seem to say, “We’ve got this. You don’t have to venture into the unknown alone.” — Allyson Gardner
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