Summary of “How Do You Talk to Your Patients About Death?”

Instead of admitting patients from the emergency room and addressing all of their medical problems throughout their hospital stay, I saw patients only when another doctor requested a consultation for a patient, usually to treat certain symptoms and to talk with patients and families about their treatment goals-what patients considered most important and dear to them when living with a serious illness.
I’d gone from assuming that many of my patients would live for years after their hospital stays to knowing that some of my patients would die within the coming weeks or months after returning home.
“No, it’s your first day! So on our team we have two nurses and an attending physician and me. Everyone usually shows up for rounds at 9:30 or so, and we will talk about each of the patients on our list. The attending this month is Dr. Harris, and she’ll assign you a few patients to see. Oh, and you’ll need that,” she said, motioning to a pager on the corner of my cubicle.
Businesslike and efficient as she introduced herself, Dr. Harris told me that her day was packed with meetings, but that she would assign me several patients to see and we would talk about them later in the afternoon.
Almost all of our patients required family meetings, and some also required better control of pain.
The biggest shift was my new relationship to language, my attention newly focused on the words I used with patients and colleagues, and the words I heard them use.
“Take note of how long the oncology fellow talks before allowing the family to speak.” The oncologist, a brown-haired man with a kind face, spoke for twenty-five minutes about the gravity of the patient’s diagnosis, the chemotherapies that theoretically could be used, and all the reasons why the patient was too sick to qualify for them.
A patient with a failing liver asked me how much time I thought he had to live and begged me not to mince my words.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Spain’s Open Wounds”

In the course of thirty-seven years, María Martín López sent more than a hundred handwritten letters to the Spanish authorities.
Martín López’s parents were not especially political, but they had wed, in 1921, in a discreet civil ceremony in France, and they upset Catholic sensibilities by refusing to remarry before the Church in Spain.
At the time, Martín López was six years old.
Martín López’s story-and those of many victims of Franco’s regime-have been captured in the documentary “The Silence of Others,” which was produced by Pedro Almodóvar and shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination.
Martín López continued to write two or three letters a year in hopes of getting a response.
Silva, an indefatigable man of fifty-three, belongs to a generation known for its fight against Spain’s so-called Pact of Forgetting; his own grandfather was killed by a Francoist death squad. A few years after they met, Silva encouraged Martín López to join the A.R.H.M., alongside thirteen other associations of victims’ families, in filing a petition before the National Court to look into the killings of a hundred and fourteen thousand people between 1936 and 1951.
The two women met at Martín López’s house to talk about her attempts to recover her mother’s remains.
Martín López got in the habit of tucking a bunch of flowers into the guardrail of the road. Martín López had planned to meet Messutti again in the summer of 2014, but she died that July.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Elizabeth Wurtzel on Discovering the Truth About Her Parents”

Bob Adelman’s adopted daughter, Samantha, was my playmate on the Upper West Side until we were 6, when she moved to Canada with her mother.
Bob’s marriage split up when his wife found out he’d gotten another woman – my mother – pregnant.
My mother hated Poughkeepsie and living with Donald Wurtzel.
Donald Wurtzel met my mother on an escalator at Macy’s in Herald Square – she was going up and he was coming down.
My mother was still living with her parents in Hewlett, on Long Island, in the house she grew up in.
My mother married my father because he was the first one who asked.
Is. My mother was ashamed that she had an affair, so she hid it and made her husband think he was my father.
My mother, who is traditional, left my father because she knew he was not my father.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Still have your childhood teddy? The psychological power of the toys we keep”

The origins of Ann Bradley’s Teddy are lost in family lore – it was a gift from either her mother or her grandmother – but she has gone on to comfort the 58-year-old from Swindon, as well as her daughter and now her new granddaughter.
The transition in Winnicott’s “Transitional object” refers to the shift every infant must make, as he wrote, “From a state of being merged with the mother to a state of being in relation to the mother as something outside and separate”.
A transitional object tends to be chosen in the first six months of life and to have qualities reminiscent of the mother: it is soft; it can be stroked, cuddled and bitten; and, on a symbolic level, it links to maternal care.
Possessions such as Chris’s Boo-Boo help an infant to navigate the experience of difference and separation from the mother, inside whom they spent the first nine months of their existence, so that one can become two.
“Because my mother couldn’t afford a teddy bear, one of her nursing colleagues made Ted out of the only material she had – a kind of green hessian, with black felt eyepatches. At present, he looks very dishevelled.” He has been in Graham’s life for seven decades: “He was a very, very significant part of my childhood for a while and he’s part of me.”
Ted still represents “Stability and durability. Things may change, but he won’t – and that’s still a source of comfort when times are difficult.”
Her grandmother packed a couple of cotton saris in her suitcase and Roulet’s mother cut out a large square for her to take to bed.
“Even Chris, who lost his Boo-Boo before he was five, still carries a tissue around in his pocket and touches it for comfort from time to time. As our conversation is about to come to an end, he is suddenly startled by a memory.”It just flashed in front of me,” he says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Connected Lighting Helped This Couple’s Relationship”

David had access to her connected lights, and this was a message from him.
To enable this remote control of lights, David had linked his phone to Elana’s lights during a previous visit when they’d set up the lights.
When David wanted to adjust Elana’s lights from afar, he signed into her account and selected colors for specific lights.
Sometimes Elana couldn’t reestablish control over her lights from within the app and had to either text David to turn them off or physically unplug the lights when she wanted to sleep.
The light exchanges became an important part of their long-distance relationship.
How could turning on lights come to mean so much? In part it is because we have a long history with light.
As Lisa Heschong writes in Thermal Delight in Architecture, “Are the colors reds and browns? Then maybe it will be warm like a room lit by the red-gold light of a fire.”1 We associate fire with interpersonal as well as physical warmth.
4,5,6,7 Recent work on “Ghosting” took this a step further, synchronizing the lights and sounds in two homes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Growing Up in the Library”

My family lived in the suburbs of Cleveland, about a mile from the brick-faced Bertram Woods Branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library system.
The library might have been the first place that I was ever given independence.
Our visits were never long enough for me-the library was so bountiful.
Libraries might have become just a bookmark of memory more than an actual place, a way to call up an emotion of a moment that occurred long ago, something that was fused with “Mother” and “The past” in my mind.
We were so new to the city that we had to look up the address of the closest library, which turned out to be the Studio City branch.
Decades had passed, and I was two thousand miles away, but I felt as if I had been whisked back to that precise time and place, walking into the library with my mother.
On a library bookshelf, thought progresses in a way that is logical but also dumbfounding, mysterious, irresistible.
The writer Amadou Hampâté Bâ once said that, in Africa, when an old person dies, it is like a library has been burned.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When did parenting become so fearful?”

Her new book – Small Animals: Parenthood in The Age of Fear – is the story of how Brooks came to regret that choice.
Small Animals, which was borne of a viral article she wrote for Salon in 2014, is about how Brooks copes with being formally charged as a Bad Mother in a society where that’s considered a serious crime.
In the author’s note Brooks tries to neutralize a line of criticism that she knows is coming: “They may argue that my experience of motherhood would not have been what it was if I had had more money or less, a more high-powered career or no career at all, a more supportive network of extended kin, a different group of friends and neighbors or if I were a single mother, a woman of color, an older or younger mother I’d like to concede the point from the start.” I can understand wanting one’s story to be judged on its own merits, but the intro reads like an attempt to bracket off critical questions about race and class to the moments when Brooks contemplates how much worse her situation would be if she weren’t insulated by privileges.
Brooks serves her 100 hours of community service at home: “I volunteered for the organizations from which my own kids benefitted – their soccer leagues and schools My lawyer assured me that these were perfectly acceptable activities for fulfilling my volunteer hours, since they involved giving time to nonprofit organizations.” Pled guilty to “Contributing to the delinquency of a minor”, Brooks is sentenced to domesticity.
Throughout the book, Brooks keeps asking the right question, but no one has an answer for her.
“There has to be something behind it. Some reason or cause.” “Maybe,” Skenazy answers, “If you figure out what it is, you’ll have to let me know. In the meantime, do you have a lawyer?” There are some digressions into behavioral psychology – a discipline that has fallen on hard times , epistemologically – but what Brooks and the larger critical parenting discourse seem to be missing is a theory of history.
The book gets closest to historical understanding when Skenazy explains the art of “Yuppie jujitsu” to Brooks: In order to win over her reticent peer-moms, she has to convince them “If you don’t send your kids to the park and they don’t break their foot and have to get home on their bike by themselves, they will never get into an Ivy League school; they’ll never run a corporation; they will never earn a Fulbright or find a cure for cancer or have their own hit series on HBO or run for Congress. They’ll be fat, they’ll be lonely, they’ll be sad, they’ll be depressed and anxious and lost” She continues.
Erin Anderson, an occupational therapist, tells Brooks that she sees more and more mothers who were in business applying their professional skills to childrearing: “What I see is many of them doing for their children as they might have done in their job,” Anderson tells her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tina Knowles Lawson on Her Black Art Collection, Beyoncé, Solange, and Creativity”

Tina Knowles Lawson is walking me through her art collection on a bright Friday afternoon.
While some art collections feel like a mausoleum, Lawson’s comes alive as she stops before various pieces, sharing anecdotes and art-history lessons.
The property is equal parts Old Hollywood glamour and Rodeo Drive chic; I found Lawson in the kitchen applying mascara, with an assistant, a stylist, and a makeup artist standing by.
Today, her collection has swelled to include works by artists ranging from Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Henry Ossawa Tanner-the turn-of-the-century African-American ex-pat who garnered huge success after moving to Paris-to more contemporary works by Toyin Ojih Odutola, Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, and Lawson’s own niece Dominique Beyoncé.
Over the course of our tour, Lawson continually expresses that art has been a major tool in helping her find joy and retain a sense of self despite dedicating so much of her life to her children.
In the wake of her 2011 divorce from her first husband, Mathew Knowles, Lawson threw herself into work, running her popular Houston salon and doing wardrobe for her elder daughter.
“I got on,” she says, “And next thing I know I bought a Sam Gilliam, I bought two Picasso lithographs. I was like, ‘What did I do?’ I tried not to buy them, but they found me and they threatened to sue me.” I think of the Instagram video Lawson posted earlier this year: at the WACO Theater Center’s annual Wearable Art Gala, her six-year-old granddaughter, Blue Ivy, is perched between her parents, gleefully locked in a bidding war against Tyler Perry for a painting of Sidney Poitier.
The WACO Theater Center, co-founded by Lawson and her husband in 2017, is a large-scale mentoring program that immerses children, the group’s “Angels and warriors,” in art programming as they journey from adolescence into adulthood.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”I Have a Secret. My Father Is Steve Jobs”: Lisa Brennan-Jobs Recalls Memories of Her Famous Father”

Between avoiding the housekeeper, my brother and sisters, and my stepmother around the house so I wouldn’t be caught stealing things or hurt when they didn’t acknowledge me or reply to my hellos, and spraying myself in the darkened bathroom to feel less like I was disappearing-because inside the falling mist I had a sense of having an outline again-making efforts to see my sick father in his room began to feel like a burden, a nuisance.
During the time my mother was pregnant, my father started work on a computer that would later be called the Lisa.
My father responded by denying paternity, swearing in a deposition that he was sterile and naming another man he said was my father.
Just after the court case was finalized, my father came to visit me once at our house in Menlo Park, where we had rented a detached studio.
My father had started dropping by sometimes, about once a month, and he, my mother, and I would go roller-skating around the neighborhood.
For a long time I hoped that if I played one role, my father would take the corresponding role.
Did the team feel alive? Did they sense it was something big and they were going to change the world? My father said it did feel that way as they were making the Macintosh, and Bono said it was that way for him and the band, too, and wasn’t it incredible that people in such disparate fields could have the same experience? Then Bono asked, “So, was the Lisa computer named after her?”.
My father hesitated, looked down at his plate for a long moment, and then back at Bono.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Stay Married After Your Baby is Born, or, I’m not Divorced Yet”

Taking care of a child is so hard, so time consuming: it made sense that our emotions and needs would consume me and that in turn, three years later I would have a blank space for a lot of where Josh should be.
Sad, because it’s almost always, from other mothers I’ve talked to, true: that blank memory space for me, is partly blank because I expected the relationship I had with Josh to be on hold while I kept the baby alive.
Back in the earliest days of our relationship, when I was barely a known entity to Josh’s brother and parents, I felt uncomfortable but energized by their ability to make decisions quickly, where my family, the one we now had without my mother, sometimes took hours to decide what to have for dinner simply because everyone failed to speak their mind in a timely fashion.
“You’re all like your father!” my mother used to say in exasperation, years after my parents divorced.
Though Josh and I had taken on his personal characteristic of openly and sometimes hostilely attacking each other over, say, how good the films of Paul Thomas Anderson are, the stakes of so many of the arguments we’d had over the years before Zelda were extremely low.
At the time of the separation, with my oldest brother, David, already at college, we decided that my brothers and me would stay with my mother.
We wanted to stay with our mother too, because, well, she was the cool parent.
If we’d never had children, I believe Josh and I would probably never have been truly confronted with this need to learn how to make decisions together, how to relent or come to an agreement even if disagreement remains.

The orginal article.