Modern Love is my weekly ritual.
It quickly became food for my soul the minute I was gifted a New York Times subscription in 2008. Now in its 16th year, the column has grown into a mini movement: a book, a podcast, and a TV series on Amazon Prime Video.
For those of you who do not know what Modern Love is, you are in for a treat! It encompasses the good, the bad, and the funny – as well as the heartbreaking side – of loving (and sometimes unloving) relationships. The most memorable Modern Love essays for me have addressed the complexities of love as seen through the lens of death and dying. And despite the heaviness of loss, these indelible tales have left me feeling centered, present, and with a greater sense of awe for this thing we call life.
In 2018, Tiny Love Stories was born as an extension of the beloved NYT column, featuring reader submitted stories of no more than 100 words. As an uber-fan, I could now get my fix of Modern Love served in weekly, bite-sized portions.
Tiny Love Stories puts within reach the long held dream (for me, and I’m sure others) of being published in the New York Times. That said, I wouldn’t be sharing this with you if I hadn’t already been rejected. I submitted my 100-word vignette only to receive… crickets. Zero. Zip. Zilch.
I have decided to publish my own Tiny Love Story here, on the DTBG Blog. And while I adore and respect Daniel Jones’ and Miya Lee’s vision, gosh darnit I do not need permission to share stories that have altered my life. What Modern Love, Covid, and Ram Dass have taught me is that life is short – carpe diem! – and “Be Here Now.”
This one’s personal, folks…
Tiny Love Stories: Autumn – A Season For Letting Go
Nearly forty years later, over eleven days, I witnessed the death of my stepmother.
When Papi married Maite, she was 24 and I was eight. Children raising children, except I wasn’t her child. An intricate relationship from the start.
With every afternoon, another layer fell away, like the tender Fall leaves outside her window.
Though now in my autumn, it was eight year-old me peering back. I cannot say I understood her well, then or now. Neither did she know me. But I was there, at her bedside, sharing her final chapter.
For one quiet moment, Maite let me in.