Family / Quotes Filter
  1. Jenn Berney on raising boys in a hard-to-navigate world: “I want them to understand their luck, to care about the world and the many many ways it’s broken, but when I try to explain its brokenness, they can barely comprehend.”

    Essay
  2. “White mother, black father in a part of Pennsylvania where pickups wave Confederate flags under a bruised sky. All four of them — parents and kids — have V names. Such hope in those names, their own little club of safety and love.”

    Family
  3. “So you keep a secret drawer with a few items of her favorite clothes. And you retreat to press your face into them, searching for the familiar scent of her that has long since faded.” — Suzanne Leitz on the marks left by loss.

    Death
  4. “Your parents will . . . find a cemetery, one close by, so your Mom can visit you every day; pick out a nice four by eight foot plot, maybe beside a tree, and buy the only piece of real estate you will ever own.”

    Death
  5. “I spoke about achievement and beginnings, pausing and smiling as my voice reverberated. And I told God, privately, that I would saw off both of my legs and never take a sip of alcohol if only he would let me die somewhere other than up a holler in Lincoln County.”

    Family
  6. “These snippets of a lifetime make me ponder on how vital stories are. How we keep people, traditions, habits, alive through words. I’ve heard you die twice. First your physical death. And then again, when there’s no one left to tell your story.”

    Family
  7. One day he went to an orthodontist, paid in advance, and sent a note home to her parents suggesting they get her braces, all expenses paid. One day she showed up on the bus and beamed her sparkly new braces at him, and handed him a pie that her mother had made.

    Family
  8. “We’re all pointing in different directions. I’d like to think I know where True North is, but with so many others’ fingers extended, jabbing all over the place, how can I be sure?”

    Commentary
  9. “They are in my life because of a confluence of coincidence, but also fundamentally because I moved from comfort.”

    Exploration
  10. “We no longer had the recipe or the creator of the recipe, just a limited supply of a cranberry sauce that would never be made in the same way again. And out of those limits arose a more pronounced gratitude than our Thanksgiving table had ever seen.”

    Family
  11. “I should be able to ride one horse at a time, because I only have one ass. I fully realize that I can’t ride two horses at once, but just like my little boy, I want to.”

    Family
  12. Remind yourself that a five year old is sixty months on this planet. Less than 2,000 days old. They’re still brand new people! No one has the right to whisper anything about college or careers to a child determined to conquer the monkey bars.

    Education
  13. “I may end up completely estranged from my sister in the end. A risk I’m willing to take. Because as the decider, my responsibility isn’t to do what my sister wants for our mother, or even to do what’s best by some medical standard. It’s to do what our mother would want for herself.”

    Family
  14. “Some days we will be tempted to tell the world about our mothering, and others will leave us wanting to hide behind an obnoxiously large diaper bag. I would argue that the sweet spot of vulnerability is somewhere in between.”

    Family
  15. “I looked down at my now sleeping Mom. She was laying there naked faced, no lipstick, her thinning hair completely flattened and messy, and wrapped in a flimsy, faded hospital gown. And, I thought she had never looked more beautiful in her entire life.”

    Family