My granddaughter saw the real issue right away

This is not a post about Millennials or Generation Z. When I refer to “Youth” in the title, I am referring to someone under the age of 10.

Well, under 9. My granddaughter Ramona, the youth in question, is just coming up on eight and a half years old.

So, jumpstarted by youth. I could say “inspired,” but “jumpstarted” is more accurate. …


Dying Is More like Using Leftovers, Preferably Well

Blame it on Sylvia Plath, who in her poem Lady Lazarus, wrote:

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.

When I was sixteen, I was enthralled with those lines and, indeed, that poem. At 64, having outlived Plath by more than three decades, I still admire the poem but am far more skeptical of her pronouncement.

Dying an art? Sylvia’s assertion aside, my take on death, as I move closer to it, is I’m dealing with leftovers.

Leftovers.

I was raised in a working class family and leftovers were a staple on…


I’ve always been a bad minimalist

A photo of a close-up of a camera on a rock.
A photo of a close-up of a camera on a rock.
Photo: Aniket Das/EyeEm/Getty Images

As I get more serious about my end of life, I look around and realize just how much stuff I own. If I ever published my personal essays, I would totally copycat my title from Roxane Gay: Bad Minimalist.

I am intrigued by minimalism and try to incorporate some of it into my daily life. I love watching Anthony Ongaro on YouTube. I’m not a rabid consumer. I avoid malls. I don’t shop online. I deliberately and conscientiously stopped conspicuous consumption years ago. But…

I do not listen to Joshua Becker. I am not a Marie Kondo acolyte testing every…


This Is Us

I’ve had cancer for 15 years, and I now see the exit door up ahead

A mostly dark photo of a woman who is opening a door that casts light in the middle of the picture.
A mostly dark photo of a woman who is opening a door that casts light in the middle of the picture.
Photo: WIN-Initiative/Getty Images

My life with an incurable, progressive cancer now in its 15th year is always shifting.

It is almost (almost) easier — after so many years (15), after so many appointments (hundreds), after so many blood draws (beyond count) — to say out loud, “I now know what dying feels like and I now know that I am starting to die.”

I said that very sentence to my husband Warren over breakfast, much to my surprise and shock. And then I could not speak, because my voice broke and tears ran down my face.

Tears of longing and love and, damn…

April Nelson

Now in my 60s, I pursued lots of other paths before finding a way to wedge writing back into my life.

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