Tag Archives: family

All too human: the mountain gorillas of Uganda

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig. 1. Adult female mountain gorilla   The Ugandan mountain gorilla is a member of the Hominidae family, also known as the great Apes. The extant species include: the orangutan, the eastern and western gorilla, the chimpanzee, the bonobo, and ourselves, Homo sapiens. The mountain gorilla is one […]

What she sees

Michelle M. Kittleson Los Angeles, California, United States   From Openclipart. Public Domain. I know she does not believe me, Why won’t you save my son? Why won’t you see what I see?   Her firstborn; calm and chubby; Why can’t he walk? He’s one. Why won’t you see what I see?   Genetic tests […]

The names of things

Joseph Hodapp Cupertino, California, USA   The author’s grandparents. Photo by Laura Hodapp. It’s a gray-sky, late-October afternoon. I just got home from work when I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. The caller ID provides a brief preface: Mom. “Hey Mom, what’s up?” “Hey Hun, I wanted to call you right away… my […]

A house call

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, USA   A doctor visiting a sick woman, and taking her pulse. Many years ago, in the mid 1980s, when I was still in clinical practice, I made a house call accompanied by a second year medical student who was coming to my office one day a week as part of […]

How to save a life

Sam Campbell Moh’D Ibrahim Johnson City, TN, USA   “We had been happy together, though it took years to convince her family to allow us to marry.” My wife is in Texas, threatening to file divorce papers. I am here, 996 miles away, trying to find Mrs. Smith who has wandered out of her room […]

Rethinking the impulse to empathize: A sister’s perspective on sympathy and stigma

Jeanne Farnan Pennsylvania, USA   Mary Cassatt, Mother Combing Sara’s Hair, 1901. Private collection. Web Gallery of Impressionism “I am so sorry.”  My youngest sister, Annie, was born during the spring semester of my first year of high school. These four words are etched into my memory, integrally intertwined with the events of that spring. […]

La Pieta

Rachel Fleishman Philadelphia, PA, USA   La Pieta, 1498-1499, Michelangelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Wikipedia A mother holds her dead child. His body flops open without resistance, freshly dead. His head is cocked back, shoulder lifted, arms release the last vestige of grip. Her face sullen, her hand beside him open and offering, she […]

Tuesday: social admit

Rebecca Slotkin New Haven, Connecticut, USA   “Unraveling” by Ron Slotkin. Used with permission. We have a routine, Dad and I. I wake up first, turn on NPR and brew our coffee. My clamor tells Dad it is morning. This used to be my pre-work ritual before Dad started to get lost — first around […]

A good man

Tuhina Raman Philadelphia, PA, USA   The Liquor Bar by Wharton H. Esherick. Illustration for the book Song of the Broad-Axe by Walt Whitman. c. 1923. Philadelphia Museum of Art. My heart sank as soon as I saw it—tumor nodules in the trachea and a mass eroding through the stent in his airway. I had […]

Chemo Room

Sarah Smith Pike Road, Alabama, USA   Chemotherapy iv. National Cancer Institute. Photo Credit: Linda Bartlett Cancer makes me glad I am fat. Mr. Weiss, two chairs down from Jack and me today, does not agree. Two months ago, Mr. Weiss tried to convince me of the importance of keeping in shape and maintaining a healthy weight. […]