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Tiny Love Stories: It Started at Woodstock


We schemed all summer to have an overnight. Miraculously, his father lent us his Volkswagen. My parents provided camping gear. At last the day came: Aug. 15, 1969. We were going to Woodstock. I was 16, Paul 18. It is not that we were so young, though that is true. It’s that we fell in love for the rest of our lives. Subsequent lovers told us they could sense it and broke up with us, unwilling to be second fiddles. We married in 1987, finally admitting the fire was eternal. Fifty years after Woodstock, our hearts still sing. — Chris Orr

“Jeff Bezos is a visionary,” I said on our first date in Washington, D.C. “My family owns an independent bookstore,” she replied. “Also, I’m moving to North Dakota.” An inauspicious beginning to an already improbable relationship. I’m a 35-year-old child at heart who froze my eggs last month; she’s an old soul trapped in a 25-year-old’s body. My job revolves around social media; she’s not on Facebook. I love meat; she’s a lifelong vegetarian. Despite the distance and differences, we work. She starts law school in Connecticut soon. Naturally, one of us is worried. Luckily, the other’s an optimist. — Kristin Lynch


The day that my first child, Aviva, was born, my mother had a double mastectomy. A day after I brought Aviva home, my mother was released from the hospital. She came straight to my house. When she walked in, I was breastfeeding. My breasts, white and plump and full of milk, were exposed in an almost teasing display of what my mother lacked. I cried tears of sadness. Seeing her newborn grandchild, my mother cried tears of joy. — Liat Katz

I look at his girlfriend with envy. She knows him like I wish I did. Tell me about him, I want to say. Tell me how he likes his coffee, when he last cried, how he looks when sleeping. Tell me how he says good night, if he writes poems, how he is with your family. Tell me what he’s said about his childhood, his parents, his sister. Tell me if he wants children, a dog, a house in Japan. Tell me his theories about life, his nightmares, his secrets. Please, I want to say. Tell me about my brother. — Lucy Mae Coulson


I took my mother’s hands as she lay dying. I beheld her fingers. Long and graceful. Manicured and polished coral, even at age 91 on the last day of her life. Her hands were not always so pretty when she had worked typewriters, the earth in her many gardens, and snarls out of her children’s hair. These were hands that had washed, folded, mended, ironed, stacked, and stowed ceaselessly. Now, they lay warm and still as life left her. Gradually, she uncoupled her hands from mine and was gone. — Shelley Meader Walinski


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