Reyna Marder Gentin lives with her husband and two children in New York, although one child is now studying abroad. She has written personal essays for Mothers Always Write, Mamalode, Parent.Co, The Jewish Literary Journal, and Her View From Home. Reyna practiced law for many years, and is now focusing on her writing.
Growing up in the 1970s and early ’80s in suburban Long Island, I celebrated Halloween just like all the other kids in the neighborhood. My parents, first-generation Americans and the children of…Eastern European Jews, viewed Halloween as just another brick in the American home they were building—no different from Thanksgiving or the 4th of July. We dressed up as witches or vampires, looking decidedly more adorable than frightening, we went door-to-door chaperoned by our parents or older siblings, we remembered to say thank you when we… >> Read More
“Where are you?” I desperately text, “I need to see you.” I’ve been following this person like a lovesick puppy for years—panicking when he takes off without telling me, bursting into…tears of relief when I find him once again. My dependency knows no bounds. Does he feel the same way about me? Not a chance. This is a thoroughly one-sided affair. “C,” as we’ll call him, holds the key to my youth, if not my heart. Behind a curtain, like the Great and Powerful Oz,… >> Read More
“It won’t be the same,” our son said as we planned a vacation over the President’s Day break.
Very little in life stays the same, I want to tell him. As soon as I get comfortable, with a…project, a friendship, a stage of my children’s development, something shifts. I am left to grapple with not knowing how I fit in. But I don’t say anything; this falls into the category of lessons he needs to learn himself. Despite his concerns, we take the plunge–a family vacation without one of the four members… >> Read More
It’s an annual ritual that is different from all others. We could be at a luxury spa awaiting our massages, the five or six women sitting in white cotton robes tied tightly at the waist. But we…don’t touch the coffee or the water cooler, don’t glance at the magazines. We don’t make eye contact and we definitely don’t speak to one another. In what other sort of doctor’s waiting room are all the people there for the same reason? The annual mammogram is not an invasive procedure, at least not physically. … >> Read More
I advocated for my mom one last time after she died.
Don't get me wrong. I’ve never gone in much for taking up “causes.” I usually find that the nuances of an issue are lost when it’s…reduced to talking points and slogans. Or maybe it’s the attorney in me, who finds it too tempting to argue all sides, making it difficult to commit to one point of view. But once, I was an activist for a situation that was personal as well as public, a problem impinging directly both on my… >> Read More