My grandmother was mesmerized by the Kennedy family. She was given up for adoption in 1923, and always wished that she had been part of a large family. She was happy when John F. Kennedy was elected as President in 1960, and when she became pregnant in 1963 at the same time as Jackie, her connection grew stronger.
My mother was due on August 7th, 1963, but she arrived four days early. So when Patrick Kennedy was born premature on my mother’s due date and died two days later, the imaginary bond that my grandmother created grew stronger.
I grew up listening to my grandmother talk about her admiration for the Kennedy family. I was born eighteen weeks premature, which created another link in my grandmother’s non-existent broken chain that she shared with Jackie. She told me stories about the Kennedy children and parents and showed me old articles out of Life magazine that she kept in her cedar chest. These memories made it easy for me to recreate that traumatic day in Dallas. I was able to close my eyes and hear the cheers of excited people waiting to greet the couple they admired and then feel the grief that swallowed the nation after the fatal shot was fired. I was able to visit “the cold dark place within” (Lamott 197) and share the “way to the truth” (Lamott 201).
My grandmother was an eccentric lady who lived life to the fullest. She believed that every day had a memory waiting to be made and she loved people unconditionally. My poem about Jackie is a tribute to the invisible friendship my grandmother shared with her and it is a testament to how strangers admired the strength of the elegant woman wearing a pale pink suit who endured so much in her young life as the first lady of the United States.
(Quotations are from Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird)
Here is where you can read “From an Open Window”: From an Open Window”
Hi, everyone! I apologize for not posting a recent blog entry. I’ve been busy with the start of the fall semester and with work and writing. I have a few pieces out on submission. And on August 18th, I published a short story called “Oma.” I wanted to share my inspiration behind it, as well as the link to read it:
I based Oma off of my great-aunt Dottie. Like Oma in the story, she is incredibly fearless. Each summer, she and her children and grandchildren vacation at the beach. She looks forward to parasailing each year, and there is a rotation of her copilot each year. Although I have never been parasailing, I was able to write it through watching videos that my relatives have posted on Facebook. A picture of Dottie wearing her favorite yellow shirt and pink sneakers also caught my eye, so the pink sneakers became a symbol and a part of Oma’s character.
I changed a lot of details and debated over the ending for a long time, and after I finished, I sent it to a few magazines. Three days after receiving it, Every Day Fiction accepted it.
Thank you so much for reading! I’ll be posting more soon!
I originally wrote this essay as a school assignment, and I kept it in my portfolio for possible publication someday.
Well, someday became today! I am proud to share this personal story about my premature birth and the obstacles I overcame to become who I am today!
Hope you enjoy!
I am so excited to present my newest short story, “Sunk,” which was published in Dime Show Review this morning!
You can read it here: http://www.dimeshowreview.com/sunk-by-ashley-kauffman/
Hope you enjoy!
I wrote this in memory of my grandmother Evelyn, and I wanted to share it today. Happy #MayDay!
Her skin was flawless, just like the porcelain doll that rested in my mother’s handmade cradle. She told my sister and me that she used “magic dew” on her face. We were always mesmerized by all of the stories she told, and we wanted to be just like her. We hardly slept on the night of April 30th, waiting to climb out of our bed before the sun rose on May 1st. We cautiously opened the front door and walked out across the cement patio to place our hands in the wet morning dew. We wiped our hands across our faces, so our skin would be magically transformed. Our grandmother is no longer alive, but she lives in our memories and in the reflection of our porcelain skin that gets clearer with the magic dew we wipe on our faces every year on May 1st.