A family holiday card that year would have shown our faces being scratched out: father dead, mother in assisted living, one brother in a coma. I’d just broken up with a dishonest, possibly-cheating-on-me-boyfriend. My brother Gary took me ice-skating at the local rink. He was graceful and fluid; I tottered on wobbly ankles. He skated over with ibuprofen, a Walkman and headphones. Coltrane was playing “My Favorite Things.” “Trust the edge,” Gary said. Soon I was gliding along, no longer depressed or caring if I fell. I knew he would be there to help me up.

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