The Men Who Mean Everything To Me

I remember the last time I saw my father alive. It was his first day in Metropolitan Jewish Hospice in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. The largely Hasidic neighborhood was home to Maimonides Medical Center, the hospital where I and my brother and sisters were all born, and where my father would spend the last few months of his life. For five years before being placed in hospice care, he’d been serving what seemed like a prison sentence in our ill-lit apartment on Fort Hamilton Parkway. His emphysema had intruded enough that he was unable to do more than shower and watch television. He and I had been on our way to mass one morning at Our Lady of Guadalupe, just three short blocks away, when he finally surrendered the fight and the confinement to home began. After stopping for a while to try to catch his breath, he sent me along to church while he returned to the apartment. It was the last time he would be outside of his own volition. He would spend years trapped in the apartment largely alone, bitter and missing my mother, who had succumbed to cancer a few years before. Charles Christopher Gallagher left this world with a struggled, gasping prayer for God to take his life. It was answered minutes later. Continue reading

Rasing Drew

“Do you see that right there?” the sonographer asked my husband and I, and pointed to an unfamiliar object on the screen. “That right there means you’re having a boy,” she clarified. Thank goodness we have people that are trained to read those things because I still have no idea what I’m looking at, but nonetheless, that was the answer we were secretly hoping for in December 2009. Continue reading

Bringing Responsibility Into Focus

On April 29, Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a federal report urging colleges and universities to assess and address issues of sexual violence on their campuses.

Among other details, the report concluded that one in five women are sexually assaulted while attending college, often by someone that they know, and that the attacks frequently go unreported.
Continue reading

BodySense: On Being Ken

“It’s just as hard to be Ken as it is to be Barbie”. A bare-chested young man, probably in his early 20’s holds a sign with this quote on it. I found this picture on-line in the midst of numerous images of cut, chiseled, ripped, and buff men with six pack abs and well-defined biceps and pectoral muscles. Welcome to our world, guys, the world of impossible standards of beauty! Continue reading

Raising Boys: Why traditional thinking no longer works

I am the product of female empowerment.  In one generation, women in my family went from feeling as if their career choices involved teaching or nursing (and they could only be nurses as long as they stayed single) to career choices as complex as becoming engineers or doctors. The empowerment happened because women stood up for themselves and because our society as a whole said that one gender was not more skilled or more powerful than another.  The transformation hasn’t happened worldwide (look at Malala Yousafzai) and it isn’t complete.  Gender bias still exists.  But now women have opportunities equivalent to what are offered to men. Continue reading

SUMMER READING LIST

NEW TITLES

Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen, 252 pp. Random House, 2014

A friend of mine observed that she has a good time reading Anna Quindlen but never recalls the plot afterwards. Not, perhaps, a bad recommendation for a light summer read. We do recall, when we open a new book, how cleverly Quindlen puts things, e.g. “The cottage was the real-estate equivalent of online dating, built atop lies, leading downhill to disenchantment.” Continue reading

Avoiding the home office productivity trap

Working at home is the ultimate dream – no commute, no office drama, no boss peeking over your shoulder.

There are many other reasons to ditch the traditional workplace and turn a spare room into a home office. At-home workers enjoy the freedom to work at their own pace, set their own hours and spend more time with their families.

However, if you’ve just taken the leap or are thinking about it, keep the following guidelines in mind to ensure your mental health and professional focus. Continue reading

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