By Leila Philip
One woman's trip to discover her family's background and comprehend the binds that bind us to a selected place..
Read Online or Download A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family (Excelsior Editions) PDF
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Extra info for A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family (Excelsior Editions)
Then my father begins to cough, and again everything in me cracks. He doesn’t cough long or hard, not nearly as deeply as when he smoked and his hacking cough would echo through the house. But even this shallow clearing of his throat is enough to leave him panting for breath. And it is as if I too were drowning, in frustration and grief and fear. They rise up and engulf any feeling of sympathy that I might have for my father. I am mad at him for ﬁfty years of smoking, for never seeing a specialist, for ending up sick.
She was bored. Stop. Start. The riding instructor said nothing, but I could tell she was not impressed. Neither was the pony. Her walk was sloppy; she stiffened when I signaled with the outside leg. We were at an impasse. Could it be that I had really forgotten how to ride? The thought was so mortifying that I stopped the pony for a moment and re-collected my reins, eyes blinking. This time, when I moved the pony out, I did so with a more determined pressure from my calves. Her walk picked up a little, and I increased the pressure in my legs but held her back when she tried to trot.
I tell my father that I am going in to get a sweater. When I come back out, I bring one for him as well. ] 28 “Thanks, Lele,” my father says, using my pet name as he takes the sweater. He pulls the sweater over his head and continues counting, but not before I hear it: the hoarse rasp of his breath caused by the small exertion of putting on his sweater. Seventy percent of my father’s lungs are ﬁlled with ﬂuid. He is slowly drowning. Is there really nothing anyone can do? My father has gone back to his counting without bothering to arrange his shirt, and it sticks out in an uncomfortablelooking bunch at the neck.
A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family (Excelsior Editions) by Leila Philip