Archive for March 2015

Joy and sorrow can live in the same house: Lessons in grief from an Irish wake

I got caught up in an Irish wake recently when my husband and I stopped in to a familiar restaurant for a quick bite. We pulled up to the only two seats at the bar, ordered, and settled in to talk. Then we noticed the mounting noise – deafening volume, male and female voices, some... Read more »

The best advice I ever received: Don't be a Superwoman - save some for later

The wisest bit of advice I received as a young woman came from Darlene, even though I didn’t follow it. She was a five-years-older lady I knew just a little.  We talked one day about the differences between her generation and mine. She was raised in the women-as-housebound-caretaker era; me in the second-wave feminist you-can-do-everything... Read more »

And that’s the day my life changed: Learning to speak up

The Prequel: I was trailing along behind my mother at the Hi-Low food store at 110th and Western, as usual. I was 8 years old, probably gazing at the red wagons lining the walls on shelves up by the ceiling, as usual. The cheery checkout lady finished up, handed the receipt to my mother and... Read more »

It’s Donna Day 2015: Her short and important life

Today is Donna Day. Never heard of it before? Well, listen up. Donna was a livewire, dancer, adorable girl who died. She died four years ago, at the age of four, after surviving brain cancer as long as she could. I know about Donna because her mom is Sheila Quirke, a well-known blogger known as... Read more »

A story that wants to be told of video I'd like to see: A 15 foot wall of molasses coming down the street

What moment in history would you like to see for yourself? That’s the topic of the week around ChicagoNow. How about seeing a 15 foot wall of molasses flowing down your street? That interests me. It was 1919 Boston. A giant storage tank was filled to the brim with 26 million pounds of molasses. Some... Read more »

A World War II story that wants to be told: Going AWOL for love

This is a story within a story. It’s about my friend Greg. I’ve known him since we started at the same job at the same time in a community mental health center. We were both fresh out of grad school and filled with good intentions and precious little experience. It was the heyday of close... Read more »