Mike Smith '0MFA | Winter 2013-14 | Notre Dame Magazine
Jennifer shivers, then drapes one of the white blankets over her daughter’s shoulder. Like every hospital, this one keeps the temperature low to limit nausea. I notice the particular coolness and recoil, not from the strangeness of these circumstances but from over-familiarity.
My stepdaughter, Emily, looks pale. She’s in pain, which makes her angry. She will not meet anyone’s eyes or respond to their questions. She is 11 years old. The medical staff members of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital probably think they can wear her down, win her over, but I know better. She’s gone over a year without speaking to me because I made the fatal mistake of falling in love with her mother, who has gotten used to answering for her.