This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Almonds are Members of the Peach Family by Stephanie Sauer, released by Noemi Press in 2019.
When she was first married, Grandma worked as a nurse in the Department of Mental Hygiene at DeWitt State Hospital. A former Army base, DeWitt housed overflow patients from other California mental hospitals beginning in 1946. By 1960 it housed over 2,800 patients. Grandma was paid an hourly wage to administer medication, bathe patients, scrub hallways. She tells me that several women she had gone to school with were admitted by their husbands when their husbands wanted to remarry. She tells me there was nothing wrong with these women. She tells me she was almost fired for combing a patient’s hair and giving her water. She tells me she was not supposed to touch the crazies.
I am told I cannot trust anything my grandmother says.