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Braver/Wiser Archive
Braver/Wiser Archive
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  • The Story of My Birth

    When my eldest child was three, they* had almost no control over their emotions, and those emotions were fueled by anything from hunger to noise to too much fun. One day near the end of a holiday break spent in Michigan with family, they started sobbing over getting the wrong...
    By Mandie McGlynn | 5/9/2018
  • Another, Truer Song

    I first visited a children’s psychiatric unit twenty-two years ago. The boy’s mother and I stood facing each other in the hallway by the locked door, not saying a word because there was nothing to say. He was ten years old and seemed not to want to live. He had been putting...
    By Elea Kemler | 2/21/2018
  • No Longer Claiming "Divorced"

    I used to be very conscious of the fact that I was “a single mom” — so self-conscious, in fact, that I would add that I was “a divorced mother,” as if this extra piece of information somehow made things better; as if people would judge me less if they knew that I did, in fact,...
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 2/14/2018
  • An Adequate Christmas

    You ever read those magazine articles about how to "survive Christmas"? As if Christmas were some kind of endurance event? To me, that all seems just a little extreme. Then again, it can come from the other side, too—all those jangling jingle bells, with people wanting to put...
    By Jake Morrill | 11/29/2017
  • Love Showed Up

    What is your heart doing right now? “Remembering. Remembering!” —from Mary Oliver's "When Did It Happen?," in Felicity Patricia was our hospice patient for three years. She had lung cancer, and by the time I got to know her she had beaten all odds. Patricia was...
    By Elizabeth Harding | 8/23/2017
  • Blessed Curses, Cursed Blessings

    In the summer of 2002, my partners and I found the best apartment in the entire East Bay. It was on Harrison street in Oakland, just a short jog uphill from Lake Merritt. We had the whole top floor of a triplex, with garages at street level. The living room facing the street was...
    By Becky Brooks | 8/9/2017
  • Nourishing Our Whole Selves

    It had been a long week, and I was so. tired. After being cooped up at work all day, my partner and I decided to take a walk to a local burger place to grab some tasty food that didn’t require much work on our part. As we were getting ready to walk out the door, I realized that...
    By Aisha Ansano | 7/26/2017
  • Hope for a Great Sea Change

    With a name like mine, it’s easy to guess I’m Irish. My forebears were among the millions who struggled to escape Ireland’s disastrous Potato Famine (1845-1852). With his six siblings, my great-grandfather Patrick boarded one of the infamous “coffin ships” out of Liverpool. When...
    By Maureen Killoran | 3/22/2017
  • All Our Relations

    Everyone needs comadres and compadres. What are those? Well, Latinx* people have way more relatives than many other families. Most people attribute this to the fact that many Latinx* are Catholic and therefore frown on contraception, but this is only a partial truth. The rest of...
    By Marisol Caballero | 12/28/2016
  • The Three Maries

    My maternal grandfather was one of seven children, four girls and three boys. All three of the boys grew up to marry women named Marie. Now, these women were all born in the nineteen-teens, when the name Marie was in the top 20 as recorded by the Social Security Association, but...
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 9/28/2016

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