On the power of words

Today’s moment of sweetness comes from PBS NewsHour, whose “Brief but Spectacular” segments encapsule everything good about public TV.

Last evening’s segment featured writer Kelly Corrigan whose father got cancer around the time Corrigan was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

She panicked and so she started writing words.

She wrote The Middle Place.

About twenty years later, having become fine, I called my parents from the maternity ward and cried through the following: “Mom, Dad, it’s a girl, and Dad, we named her after you. We named her Georgia.”

Three years after that, almost to the day, I called home to tell my parents that I had cancer.

And that’s what this whole thing is about. Calling home. Instinctively. Even when all the paperwork—a marriage license, a notarized deed, two birth certificates, and seven years of tax returns—clearly indicates you’re an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God that you’re still somebody’s daughter.