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Second Time’s the Charm

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I was 7 years old when I was walking on the orange leaf covered sidewalk outside my elementary school, with Ma right by my side. My attention was laser focused on a friend group of three Bengali girls. I was staring at their matching glitter turquoise slip-on head coverings. I tugged on Ma’s sweater sleeve. […]

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For You Are With Me

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“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” –Psalm 23 Names have been changed. Nestled in the Conservative Jewish part of northeastern Pennsylvania, Camp R in the Poconos is a place many of us who have passed through its wooden bunks call home. […]

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Beautiful Now

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I’ve always thought that I was too fat, in part because my parents told me I was. My sister was also “chubby,” and my mom encouraged me to get her to diet with me. She’d say, “Let’s get our summer bodies ready!”   My dad was even more critical. Nothing was ever good enough for him. […]

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Face to Face With Grief

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I heard my mom talking on the phone to my uncle, her brother. Her voice was quiet, a cracked whisper I had never heard her use. “When?”   Then she turned to me and switched to Cantonese: “Mommy died. She died last night. The nurse called me just now. Mommy died. She died in her sleep.”   […]

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