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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018

Marilyn Humbert's "Hope," A Commentary by Terri French

I am a natural “fixer,” particularly when it comes to my children’s problems (sometimes real, sometimes perceived), which is why I could really relate to Marilyn Humbert’s piece, "Hope."

Fixers are helpers, but also sometimes controllers. There are things we can help with, but very little we can control. My eldest son and his wife recently decided they didn’t want children and took the necessary steps to make sure that conception would not occur. I’m not going to be called grandma, nana or mamaw anytime soon, maybe never. I have no control over that.

My youngest son has had drug problems. I’ve had him go to counselors, given him material to read, talked until I’m blue in the face, but I can’t “fix” him.

I empathize with Margaret when she says “I am filled with foreboding and guilt.”

Fear, guilt, shame, regret—it inspires so much of my own writing. Thankfully, so does hope.

Marilyn Humbert


Her husband in quarantine with chicken pox, I accompany my daughter to the IVF clinic. It’s the fifth time she has made this trip after years of tests, invasive procedures, injections, disappointments and heartaches.

Sitting with her, the technician explains, again, the protocol, the chances of success. My daughter is full of optimism. I am filled with foreboding and guilt. A mother’s guilt. I can’t fix this.

a clutch of eggs
between water reeds—
ripples of life




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