Author Archives: deemallon

Sun on a Sunday

Walked the dog. Did both crossword puzzles, more or less. And I’m back to editing after a hiatus — easier than going back to writing after a pause, but still a hurdle.

Fall routines in progress here. We put the hammock away. Brought the Christmas cacti inside. Started (the endless) raking.

It’s a meatloaf or chili kind of day, but I already cooked chicken thighs, so we’ll have them along with a bean salad featuring Rancho Gordo’s cassoulet bean.

I’ll admit to checking my phone EARLY today with a ghoulish anticipation. But, don’t get me wrong — I hope our president recovers. I really do. I live for the day when he is repudiated in a landslide election and then prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

I am at a little bit of a loss with my sewing.

Love Mackenzie

You can tell that Stony Brook, Long Island was an early epicenter of the pandemic by looking at the posters lining the walkways.

We are home.

Each day, my brother made progress, particularly with speech, but I’m too tired to say more. There’s a sense of hunkering down for the long haul.

And now watching coverage about trumps hospitalization. Unbelievable.

What a day!

Grey skies

The ferry dock in Bridgeport, Connecticut was drab. Utility depots, power transfer stations, grey buildings in need of paint. Signs prohibiting photography in the area gave me the creeps.

And then the dumb shit people — so many running around with masks under their noses! Then there are the shiny blondes at the wheels of giant, shiny SUVs idling for the entire wait to board (what else is new?)

We scraped off our Warren bumper sticker before hitting the road. Long Island is hostile territory.

The ferry wasn’t very crowded but crowded enough for me to think it probable that at least one person on board had covid19.

Ugly kept going on the Stonybrook Medical Campus. I gasped to see what had to be one of the ugliest buildings in the northeast (and I went to UMass, Amherst!)

Visiting is restricted both because of Covid and the ICU protocols. We are being accorded professional courtesy since my brother works here but there are still hurdles to clear.

On entry, they take your temperature, ask a few basic health questions, and demand to know where you’ve been. Thank god Massachusetts is an acceptable point of origin. They give you a sticker.

Then you have to be cleared by a skeptical visitor clerk. Who are you? You know visiting doesn’t start for five more hours? You know only one can go up at a time? This basically requires that one of my brother’s doctor-friends comes and provides an escort up to the eighth floor.

The only health update is this: scans show the bleed unchanged. Very good news, I’m told.

So many people streaming by to say hello. This morning an ED fellow (who honestly looked about 12) paid his respects. Everyone is so nice. So unbelievably nice. My brother is beloved in ED circles (unless you’re one of a handful that reviles him) and on both coasts.

I’m glad he missed the debates. Seriously, he might’ve had another stroke. I feel lucky that I didn’t have a stroke! Even though K and I were in a Hilton, I yelled and yelled at the TV, mostly along the lines of : SHUT HIM UP. We lasted an hour and that was waaaaay too long.

Thank you for all your loving and supportive comments yesterday! Lifesavers come in many forms.


I was trying to decide which pot of mums to bring to the hospital, somehow feeling my mother involved in the decision, when a hawk burst out of the wisteria and swooped past on its way north. Eye level. Ten feet away. A passerine in its clutches.

If I was looking for a sign, I could hardly have designed a better one (what if it had been flying to the left, she asks).

The well-practiced packing drills had gotten rusty. I ran up and down the stairs like a crazy person trying to remember everything: mouth guard, heating pad, etui, a jar to pee in (that’s new!)

My brother had a stroke yesterday. He managed to call 911 himself and is now in the ICU at the hospital in Stonybrook, Long Island, where he works. He comprehends things but cannot talk. He can’t move his right side.

I’m learning things, like the word hemorrhagic and the fact that once you have one stroke you’re more inclined to have another. Rehab can take 12 months but timetables vary widely.

His partner flew in from California last night. Friends coming from all directions. We’re on the Turnpike now, heading toward the Bridgeport Ferry. Rain spatters the windshield. Red and yellow trees abound after Worcester.

I guess I don’t need to point out how surreal it is to go from having groceries delivered to planning a stay in a hotel and visiting a hospital.

The alternative was unthinkable.

PS We were lucky to snag the Handsome Dog Walker (remember him?) to house sit and take care of Finn.

PPS A just the facts approach is helping me keep it together.

Bye sweet Michelle

I will miss so much about you! Your forays into the city, your embodiment of Buddhist teachings, your humor, the constancy of your attention, your love of the written word.

Michelle Slater of

We lost such a generous and bright soul this week! I like to think that the finger on the card she sent me years ago now points to her own face in the clouds. At peace. All-seeing.

PS I pulled the card out of a drawer earlier this week and placed it next to where I write. I suppose on some level I knew she was leaving us. She was one of my most loving and clear-sighted champions!