Tiny Love Stories: ‘Every Relationship Has Its Hiccups, Yet…’ – The New York Times

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My sister is younger than I am — fiercer and more mercurial, too. She lives in a city 200 miles north of mine. We text regularly but still miss and mystify each other. One night this June, home together for the first time in six months, our parents asleep, she whispered my name: “Come see the stars.” I got out of bed and joined her underneath the infinite sky, our necks craned in reverence. “I needed a reminder that they existed and thought you might too,” she said. I did. Star-struck, we went to bed. — Amy Guay

Naked beneath a sheet the morning after we first made love, I asked when he got the tattoo of a tree with broken roots on his back right shoulder. “When I was 17,” he said, “after my parents divorced.” I glanced at the Buddhist self-help books he had picked up after his own divorce a few months earlier. In the tattoo’s severed roots, I recognized the longing to connect, to be a part of something greater than oneself. Six years later, when our daughter was two weeks old, he came home from a tattoo shop with his roots inked back together. — Stevie Trujillo


Every relationship has its hiccups, yet nothing prepared my husband and me for that first flurry of hiccups over spaghetti. Initially, the rapid-fire “hic” sound was amusing. Hours later, bothersome. The next day, when Richard was still hiccupping, alarming. It’s been 10 years now. We have desperately sought diagnoses; Richard has endured draconian treatments. He’s still hiccupping. On and off, for hours. One could see these spasms of the diaphragm as a nagging reminder of what can go wrong with our bodies, and our lives. We try to accept them as a persistent assurance that our marriage can weather anything. — David Hubbard

Three inches of rain fell in a day in Michigan recently, and I kept expecting an excited call from my mother. She loved tracking my weather from hundreds of miles south in Ohio, calling whenever it was, or would be, extreme. Gardening and her great-grandchildren were also good topics for us. Politics and cigarette smoking were not. She hasn’t been gone long, but I’ll always think of her when the weather gets intense. — Mary Beth Lewis