A new literary journal

One Wild Ride is a new, limited-run literary journal sharing stories about caring for our aging parents and those who raised us.

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latest stories

  • Swimming with My Grandma

    Swimming with My Grandma

    by Brooke Randel ~ On my birthday, my grandma loses her speech. Her caregiver thinks it might be a stroke. She is rushed to the ER and I visit her there hours later when her speech has returned and she uses it to introduce me to the nurse. She’s Romanian, she tells me, delighted. This is my granddaughter, she tells her with the same grin.


  • Reflection on Writing

    Reflection on Writing

    by Brooke Randel ~ My grandma is a Holocaust survivor and the thing about survivors is that they survive. So the thought of her mortality was not easy for me to grasp. As her health began to falter, I took notes on my phone of our visits together. I wanted to remember the little things she said, the way she made me feel.


  • Silver and Shadow, Spruce and Pine

    Silver and Shadow, Spruce and Pine

    by Maria Haskins ~ When Grandmother disappears from the nursing home, Marika is the only one who understands what’s happened. The family and staff, they wonder how and why a 96-year-old woman could walk out of her room unnoticed and disappear in the middle of the night. They whisper about dementia and Alzheimer’s. They make phone calls to the police and hospitals.


  • Reflection on Writing

    Reflection on Writing

    by Maria Haskins ~ When I wrote this story, one of the things that was on my mind was how we view old people, like our parents and grandparents. Often, I think, we see them as though they have always been old, as if they’ve always been parents and grandparents.


  • Pebbles


    by Sudha Balagopal ~ When Seeta’s phone rings in the United States with the message of Amma’s decline, she leaves for India carrying an assortment of useless things in her suitcase and a cluster of pebbles in her throat.


  • Reflection on Writing

    Reflection on Writing

    by Sudha Balagopal ~ For years, the sound of the telephone ringing after 10:00 p.m made my heart sink. Logically, I understood that the fear was irrational, since bad news can arrive at any time, day or night. As an immigrant living thousands of miles away from aging parents, the telephone was the only thread connecting me to their voices, to their lives and to their health.


  • The Fragility of Bowls

    The Fragility of Bowls

    by Gwen L. Martin ~ What does it take to achieve the kind of fragility that allows light to ebb and flow in balance? The question haunts me. Joseph destroyed scores of burls for every one he transformed. Was each failure a tiny betrayal of hope or a declaration of love?


  • Gwen L. Martin’s Reflection on Writing

    Gwen L. Martin’s Reflection on Writing

    At the time of writing, my largest challenge was to respect the fact that my sister had an adored and adoring relationship with our mother. Mine was detached and complicated. How to respect my reality without damaging my beloved sister and her memories?


  • Nearly New Rockports

    Nearly New Rockports

    by Anita Brienza ~ As my father got older and unable to bend and tie his shoes himself, I’d kneel to do it for him, talking rapidly with each shoelace loop so that he didn’t feel awkward having his adult daughter tending to him like a child.


  • Anita Brienza’s Reflection on Writing

    Anita Brienza’s Reflection on Writing

    As the sole single sister in a family of four daughters, without a live-in partner or children and with a flexible consulting practice, I became the caretaker kid for both parents at different times.


  • A Good Death

    A Good Death

    by Darci Schummer ~ “I’m protesting Dad’s death,” my mom says. The day before he dies, she emerges from their bedroom wearing one of his shirts. We are all wearing them now: me, my sisters, my brother. I started it but don’t know why. I just know it feels good inside the hollow lengths of denim. When I reach my arms out, the material hangs like faded blue wings. 


  • Darci Schummer’s Reflection on Writing

    Darci Schummer’s Reflection on Writing

    Get to the heart of the hurt and lay it bare.


  • Skim Coats

    Skim Coats

    by Amy Barnes ~ Hello the grandparents say in cartoon smoke balloons. My not-so-grand parents stand reduced to a suitcase and rummage sale remnant coats. There is money for two things: coffee and cigarettes.


  • Amy Barnes’ Reflection on Writing

    Amy Barnes’ Reflection on Writing

    n writing CNF or essays, the first drafts may not be the story that needs to be told. It may be just a vehicle for getting some of the emotional backdrop down on the page.


  • A Stream of Prayer

    A Stream of Prayer

    by Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar ~ Last week, I video-called Khala, teased her for lounging in the hospital, enjoying being pampered by nurses. If there’s one thing that years of staticky telephone calls and shaky Internet connections has taught me, it is to wrap emotions with levity.


  • Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar’s Reflection on Writing

    Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar’s Reflection on Writing

    Caring for a sick parent or relative takes a whole new dimension when you cannot be physically close to the person, especially if you are an immigrant and the distance between you and your loved one is thousands of miles.


  • Orange Communion

    Orange Communion

    by Marcy Dilworth ~ I pushed the hypodermic needle through the skin while jamming down the plunger. Wrong. Half the saline spurted back at me. Nurse Ellen coached me through the steps, which are meant to be sequential – puncture skin, push needle until barrel rests on skin, depress plunger, pull needle out.


  • Marcy Dilworth’s Reflection on Writing

    Marcy Dilworth’s Reflection on Writing

    Starting with the orange allowed me to focus on a single, potent thread. So did the passage of a time. Looking back, I could see connections I wouldn’t have had the time, or the bandwidth, or even the impulse to consider in that present.


  • My Kuleana

    My Kuleana

    by Melissa Llanes Brownlee ~ “Grandpa wea you stay?” I open the door to his room but he isn’t there. Mom is going to give me dirty lickins if I don’t find him quick. “Grandpa! Mom said you gotta come take a shower right now.” I close the door and walk down the stairs to his garden. He’s sitting on his stool.


  • Melissa Llanes Brownlee’s Reflection on Writing

    Melissa Llanes Brownlee’s Reflection on Writing

    I wrote “My Kuleana” seven years after I received my MFA. It’s a part of my short story collection (Hard Skin) written when I realized I actually wanted to write again. This was before my flash and micro days when I still believed that I needed to write longer.


  • Grief is a Story I Was Told on Rosary Beads

    Grief is a Story I Was Told on Rosary Beads

    by Electra Rhodes ~ Mam was laid out cotton-starched on the bed. The stillest I’d ever seen her. She’d not like to be known this way so I made a bit of busy noise at the door. As if I’d only just arrived. She struggled and gained no real purchase against the slip of the sheets, so she glared at me instead. Her life was eking round the tubes Sister Mary-Joseph had tucked discreetly under the blankets.


  • Electra Rhodes’ Reflection on Writing

    Electra Rhodes’ Reflection on Writing

    When I’m writing about caring I’ve found that I come at the narratives in one of two ways. This means that I usually lean into either “just because it isn’t real doesn’t mean it isn’t true,” or, “just because it isn’t true doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”


  • The Miracle Jar

    The Miracle Jar

    by Thad DeVassie ~ Arriving at a time my father isn’t home, I decide to clean out the refrigerator – not in the same way I did as a teenager with a voracious appetite, but as the adult child concerned for his aging parent, alone. I go about my business, tossing out salad dressings, things that appear overly pickled, and bags of store-bought shredded cheese nearly a decade old, barely showing the white, fleck-fuzz of decay. Half of the items resting at a comfortable thirty-seven degrees have to go.


  • Thad DeVassie’s Reflection on Writing

    Thad DeVassie’s Reflection on Writing

    In documenting my mother’s dementia, the last thing I expected to be writing about was my father’s bizarre forgetfulness as well. It had that stranger-than-fiction quality to it requiring no embellishment, no overthinking. The elements of sad truth were enough, giving me a heads up that dementia and Alzheimer’s are indeed sneaky. Fool me once, but not twice.


  • Loss Loop

    Loss Loop

    by Tara Campbell ~ One of my plants, a philodendron, drops leaves every spring. Just when she should be happy, sprawling into the light of longer days, a string of leaves begins to yellow. One after another, the leaves lose their green and shrivel, like they’re finally deciding that what they’ve been trying to do all winter isn’t going to work. Despairing just when things are getting better.


  • Tara Campbell’s Reflection on Writing

    Tara Campbell’s Reflection on Writing

    This piece began in two different places. One part was a prompt in a Kathy Fish class to write about a dream, quickly, without thinking about it too much and without trying to make it “mean” something. The telephone dreams in the piece represent a real recurring dream I used to have about needing to call someone right away, but screwing up the number or getting disconnected again and again.


  • A Percussion of Bones

    A Percussion of Bones

    by Victoria Buitron ~ She tries to hide her fingers’ decline so I’m not a witness, but the din gives it away. Pang. A percussion of shattered glass. Occasional booms. Or a bowl falls and there is no fissure, but it spins in a circular quake, making the edges echo with the wooden floor until gravity halts the rotation.


  • Victoria Buitron’s Reflection on Writing

    Victoria Buitron’s Reflection on Writing

    For a long time, I did not want to think about my parents aging. They both had me when they were teenagers, and now that I’m in my thirties and they’re in their early fifties, it’s inevitable to think about the ways they’ve changed since I was a child.


  • Interval


    by Sue Mell ~ Nine seconds to warm the applesauce for my mother’s morning medication. To wrestle my fury, replace it with a light-hearted care. Even as a kid I shied away from her clinging hand; now her need for me is bottomless.


  • Sue Mell’s Reflection on Writing

    Sue Mell’s Reflection on Writing

    This piece details a particular recurring struggle in caregiving, and the challenge lay in my finding a way to communicate that daily experience of intense conflicting emotions, and to capture the weight of a complicated mother-daughter relationship, in a single passing moment.


  • Morphine


    by Jamy Bond ~ As our father lay dying, I fought with my sister over morphine. I wanted to give him as much as possible, as much as the hospice nurse said that we could, and so, every two hours, at the chime of his Westminster mantel clock, I’d push a thin syringe between his lips and let the liquid slowly bleed across his blackened gums.


  • Jamy Bond’s Reflection on Writing

    Jamy Bond’s Reflection on Writing

    I find that writing about darker subjects is a rewarding way to contain my own difficult experience. Many of the details in Morphine are fiction, but the situation is very true. My sister and I fought at our father’s bedside over how much morphine to give him.