Hot Drink

December 2, 2015

latte sip

Red coat, hot drink,
therapist’s office
breaking the news.

“Oh,” she says,
her soft Asian-American face
locked in disbelief.
Her eyes welling up with tears.
(Her sadness for me is
something I didn’t anticipate.)

“I know. It sucks,” I say
because I don’t know what else will help her
help me.

Y’know it’s a big deal
when the person you rely on
for professional support
is also deeply affected
by the news, by your loss.

But why shouldn’t she be?
She’s known all my frustrations,
panics, sadness and elations
for the past 3 years.

Pressing the door code on the key pad
at my time, on my day
week after week.

As I left today she said,
“I’m so sorry,”
and hugged me,
her frame as small as a child’s
in my arms.
Her kindness a light reflecting back to me.


I’ve decided to use Susannah Conway’s December Reflections as daily writing prompts this month, most posts to be small poems, good or bad, posted with a photo, to help me navigate a loss I experienced in late November.

See all posts here.

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  • Reply Katie December 3, 2015 at 3:12 am

    love. <3

    • Reply jtao21 December 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm


  • Reply Rita December 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I haven’t been reading long, and this is such a personal topic. I hesitate to say anything, but I know infertility. And miscarriage. I’ve lived through some other hard things, but that was one of the hardest. It changed me. I don’t know anything about your personal situation. I experienced a string of very unhelpful doctors who prolonged my pain unnecessarily. Finally found a specialist who could help. It was so affirming to have the problems named, to know it wasn’t just me somehow (you’re too stressed, too skinny, need to relax/sleep more/change your diet), to have my feelings of loss and sorrow validated. I hope you are finding the same. Sending you hope.

    • Reply jtao21 December 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Thank you Rita for your sensitive words and for sharing your own story. For me, 2015 held two miscarriages and “changed” is the best word for my experience as well (as is “unhelpful doctors”). Been MIA here for this reason, but I know sharing our stories helps heal ourselves and support others xo

      • Reply Rita December 26, 2015 at 7:10 am

        It has been nice to catch up with you via your most recent posts this morning. Been a bit MIA myself, struggling through this holiday season. Woke up thinking about why we write (and why I am not writing), and all of your words here are nudging me to get my own unlodged from my throat. Finding your blog is one of the bright spots of an otherwise bleak year for me. I hope 2016 brings you all kinds of joy and light.

        • Reply jtao21 January 5, 2016 at 11:22 am

          Thank you so much – glad my writing is shining a light and so sorry to hear this year was tough. Tough for me too. On to brighter things, hopefully, in this new year. I hope however you spent the holidays it was soothing to your soul xo

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