Julie Charnet is a freelance writer and musician. Her work has appeared in New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, PhillyVoice.com, Gannett, and the University of Pennsylvania. She loves jazz, food, and speaking with humans.
In high school, I asked my mom to let me go to a Red Cross blood drive. “Giving blood is fine,” my mother said, “but you know Jews don’t donate certain organs.” “Wait, what?” I asked,…confused. “When the Messiah comes, he raises everyone up, and we need to be buried with all of our vital organs,” she told me. “The body is sacred; it’s not ours to give away.” That seemed odd to me because, well, eventually we are dust anyway. But I certainly didn’t want to violate any more Jewish… >> Read More
“Call me tomorrow sweetheart,” my mother said, groggily. “I just can’t today.”
I hung up disappointed. She was supposed to help me choose a new chicken recipe for a party at work. But I…knew her illness well. When I was eight, I first experienced how debilitating my mother’s problem was. “Come on mom, please get up!” I’d pleaded. It was my first lead in a dance recital, and my strict teacher held parents accountable for their child’s attendance. “Anyone who misses rehearsal is out," he warned. I shook… >> Read More