“Joy and Woe…”

Memoir Excerpt:

“Angie was flitting back and forth between hotels in expensive cabs, with garbage bags of stuff and her terrier, Loki. Sometimes I think she got that dog to stay alive—to be accountable to something or someone other than herself. She and Loki stayed with me a couple of nights in my motel. By the time I checked out I was covered with fleabites. When I told her that she should have the dog defleaed, she flew into a rage. “It’s not Loki, Mom, you’re just too cheap to stay in decent motels. You always pick fleabags to crash in.” Whatever.

When Angie was in her first psych ward back in October 2007, they used art therapy on the patients. She made me a bead bracelet. “These are your favorite colors, Mom, ” she said, carefully placing it on my wrist. I finger those beads now and again, like Greek worry beads, a reminder of the hope I nurtured then. On one of the nights she stayed at my motel, she was out all night while I tossed and turned, wondering where she was. When I awoke, there was the most fragrant smelling flower in a glass of water at my bedside. She had picked it outside of her hotel in Japan Town and left it for me to enjoy in the morning. I still have what’s left of that flower, all dried and brown, another reminder that “Joy & Woe are woven fine.”

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