Neverland Girl

His plan might have worked if I hadn’t been a girl. My brother was three when I was born and lived in a make-believe world created from bedtime stories and pages of well-worn children’s books. He loved hearing the same stories repeatedly, and his favorite tale included pirate ships and crocodiles. His relationship with fantasy…

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Falling

“I’m dying. I don’t know how to do this!” Laying on the bed in the dark, these words played over and over in my mind. I had felt a little off for some time, but there was nothing I could put my finger on. My family urged me to go to the doctor, but what…

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Hero Worship

When I was seven, I wanted a swing. The simple thought of soaring weightlessly gave me a feeling of rest in my little soul. Never for a moment did I doubt my daddy could make it happen, so I asked him, knowing he would join my joyful anticipation. Just as expected, he took on my…

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Photograph

Old photograph. It tells a tale as stories hide behind the veil. Little girl who watches on, surrounded—yet you’re all alone. Childhood captured in the past. The scene was set, the actors cast. Joy dissolves, evil’s prey. Your eyes cast down—you’ve flown away.

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Crown Jewels

Just inside the front door of my childhood home is a large built-in bookcase my father made when my parents bought their first house. On the nearby coast, my mother found a beautiful piece of driftwood to fill its center space, making the uniquely shaped object the focal point in our living room. Anything of…

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Treasure Hunter

Show-and-tell Fridays were days my brothers and I lived for as we progressed through grade school. We simply brought our dad. Well known among our peers as the man who brought unusual artifacts and interesting stories of Native American folklore to life, he also brought the pride of his ancestry. He easily looked the part…

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On the Wings of Hope

July 3, 1954. She sat alone at the end of the counter while noise and laughter rose and fell around her. She hardly noticed the soda placed in front of her by the waitress with the sweet Southern drawl. While she was trying to hold onto hope, sadness settled in as she replayed the months that…

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One Plus One

Traveling through memories often takes me back to kindergarten days. At that young age, I already knew some basics. I had learned the alphabet, how to write my name—first, middle, and last—and could figure basic addition facts with the help of my fingers and, occasionally, toes. 1+1=2 provided a logical place to start, and math…

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Class Act

I watched from the car. First a trickle, then a stream, and finally, a sea of maroon-and-gray plaid poured from the elementary building as I patiently waited in the carpool line. How many times had I strained to find my daughter amid the end-of-the-school-day chatter? I learned years ago that my best chance of locating…

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Where the Orange Blossoms Are

Very few of my grandmother’s possessions survived the devastating fire that destroyed her clapboard home well after her eightieth birthday: four dining room chairs, a side table, and her front porch rocker. I am reminded how fortunate I am that two unique treasures of hers made their way into my hands. One she had already…

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