Jan Wilberg

Jan Wilberg
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
April 18
I write about being a mother and grandmother, adoption and kids, getting older and the wonderment that brings. My husband says I'm 'sardonic' but then looked up the word and said 'not so much'. I leave it there.


Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 25, 2013 1:52PM

Tears for the Past

There is a passage in the memoir, Twelve Years A Slave, published in 1853, in which Solomon Northup, then known as the slave Platt, is handed a whip by his master and ordered to flog his friend Patsey, who is tied, naked and spread-eagle on the ground. And Northup, quickly considering… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 7:26PM


Without thinking even 60 seconds, I hit the Buy Now button and sent my 89-year old father his first computer, a brilliant blue IMac. The same day I wrote him a letter, gave him my email address, and told him to email me when he got the IMac.

Then I waited,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 7:52PM

When Your Father Dies

 Dad and me

 When your father dies, you will be at a loss for words.

If it's a surprise, you will burst into tears. You will cover your face with your hands and cry like you were six-years old, like the time you got lost on the way home from school and all… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 9, 2013 2:32PM

It Keeps Oprah Grounded

It seems that Oprah was racially profiled. A Swiss store clerk took a look at the incredibly rich Oprah and decided she couldn't possibly afford the $38,000 purse sitting on a high shelf. Not worth the trouble of finding the stepstool and getting it down.  The clerk waved Oprah and her… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 9, 2013 11:58AM

Confronting My Own Ageism

Viewed from behind, the man appeared to be headless. There were his khaki pants, his white shirt neatly tucked in, a cane swinging as he walked, but where his head should have been there was only his collar. As we drove by him and I turned to look again, I saw… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 9, 2013 2:37PM

Giving Adopted Kids Back

"We heard you were going to send her back." The school social worker looked at me over her glasses, raising an eyebrow in disapproval. Where had she heard that? Those words had never been spoken, at least not by me. Was she clairvoyant?

Yes, I'd had the thought but but… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 16, 2013 1:19PM

Role Model

She asked me if I'd take her to the funeral. She said in a text: "Will u take me? I can't get a ride."

So I said, yes, I would drive her. This would be another one of the things that I probably wouldn't put in my report to the people… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 9, 2013 6:59PM

How Many Chances Do You Get?

What's fair, do you think? One chance? Two? Three strikes and you're out? Say you're a mom who left your five-year old and six-month old baby alone so you could score some heroin on the corner. Should you get another chance? You're addicted, after all, so that has to cloud your… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 18, 2013 9:19AM


I don't know why but all day I've been thinking about Jane.  Two memories collide -- the pungent, overpowering body odor wafting down the hallway that announced her arrival minutes before she appeared in my office and the matter of fact way she cinched up the tablecloth she would often wear… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 11, 2013 6:55PM

The Six O'Clock Call

At six o’clock she turned down the stove, picked up the receiver of the yellow phone on the kitchen wall and dialed the number of the place her son was living.

She could hear the guy at the desk yell down the hall, telling her son that his mother was on… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 23, 2012 1:22PM

The Wire

It wasn't a coat hanger. It was a wire.

The theory was that by inserting the wire through the cervix, moving it around a bit and then removing it, an infection would result and the pregnancy would be aborted. It worked. It was March 1967.

Afterward,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 20, 2012 4:36PM

Let the Blaming Begin

A shooting in a crowded movie theater gives everyone the excuse they need to climb back up on their favorite soapbox and begin their rant anew.  It's guns! It's violent video games! It's the disregard we have for human life! It's untreated mental illness!

It's bad parenting.

A news story… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 21, 2012 1:58PM

Do I Want to Be Cheryl Strayed or Her Mother?

It’s not that Cheryl Strayed hiked 1,100 miles, a trip chronicled in her book, Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.  It’s that she did it alone. She chose to be alone.  No cell phone. No hiking partner. No thin string connecting her to rescue. What I admire is/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 14, 2012 11:54PM

If the Phone Rings, Don't Answer It

So much depends on whether you answer the phone. When my then boyfriend (now husband) wandered off for a while to give his prior girlfriend another chance and then decided to return to our little germ of a relationship, he started calling me. I sat at the… Read full post »