Little love stories: “Who was I to deprive him of joy? “

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“Complicated things do break,” I warned my husband five years ago as he looked at the contactless toilet at the plumbing store. “There’s an electromagnetic field,” he said, smiling like a 10-year-old about to eat a frozen birthday cake. “Just wave your hand to rinse.” Who was I to deprive him of joy by insisting on an old-fashioned waste disposal system? Of course, the lemon is barely reddening and our replacement is stuck with pandemic supply chain issues. For now, I’m waving my hand like a frenzied wizard looking for the only receptive spot. I remember my “I told you so”. Marriage is also a complicated thing. – Sharon Forman

For three decades, Jo Ann and I spent Friday afternoons strolling around Lake Winona in Minnesota. We’ve been through pregnancies and miscarriages, homeopathy studies and college tenure, Weight Watchers and changing wardrobes, taking care of girls (and sometimes their fathers). And, for 24 of those years, we walked with Jo Ann’s breast cancer. Despite her illness, we planned trips, birthdays, Passover seders, bat mitzvahs, and a girl’s wedding. In June 2020, we took our last walk around the lake. Last February, Jo Ann took her last breath. My life will never be the same. – Colette Hyman


My man laughed and said, “I was wondering when you would say it.” The “it” has always been, “God, we are so lucky. I rarely know when it’s going to fall: at the end of winter on Forest Beach in Chatham. Walking past my grandmother’s apartment on Mulberry Street in Chinatown. Minutes after seeing Dylan at the Beacon Theater. A Parisian café in a district that I no longer remember. And this morning over coffee as we celebrate the 16th anniversary of our trip to Jiangxi Province, where our daughter first snuggled up in my arms. Now, she’s a strong young woman. God, we are so lucky. – young carole

Hugs, kisses, praise don’t come easily. Our family practices stoic and unspoken love. So how do three daughters tell a dying mother how much we adore her? She was 92 years old. A Google search revealed that Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace and Anne Frank were born in the same year as their mother. On a card with their photos, we wrote: “1929 was a good year to produce elegant, inspiring, strong and classy women… We are proud that one of them is ours! Our mother passed away peacefully, a few days after her birthday. Without embarrassing him, we expressed our love to him. – Indu Balachandran


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