This was what I had come to love most about rural Jordan—the way they lived communally in and out of each other’s homes, feeding any neighbor kid who happened to be there when the food was ready, the way they took care of each other as a community. I remember when Hillary Clinton’s “it takes a village to raise a child” was a joke in America. In Jordan, I learned that it takes a village to be a village.
In a long conversation I had with the managing editor, he expressed a deep connection and appreciation of this piece as a contrast to the often cold, sterile, impersonal face of American medical care. Much more touching for me, though, was when he said he had read my story aloud to his 11-year-old daughter, and that she, too, had found it beautiful and meaningful.
I am again grateful to the perspective of an excellent editor at Michigan Quarterly Review who made this piece stronger.
Umm Saleh, allah yarHam-ha, was my Jordanian grandmother, jiddat-ii, and I am so honored that others will now be able to love her memory as I do.