Study Guide

Lipsha Morrissey in Love Medicine

By Louise Erdrich

Lipsha Morrissey

Lipsha Morrissey is June and Gerry's son, although he doesn't really find that out until pretty late in the game. Because he goes through life thinking that his parents abandoned him, he starts out pretty bitter about his family situation.

However, eventually, his biological grandmother, Lulu (Gerry's mother) sits him down and tells him the truth after June's death. It's then that he learns that Lulu and he share a talent: they both have the "touch," which means they can heal people with their hands.

Despite having (super-useful) supernatural powers, Lipsha is blown away by the simple act of loving and being loved—to him, that's kind of the real magic. He compares both "miracles" while marveling at the fact that his grandmother would always love his grandfather, regardless of what he did or how much they argued:

I never loved like that. It made me feel all inspired to see them fight, and I wanted to go out and find a woman who I would love until one of us died or went crazy. But I'm not like that really. From time to time I heal a person all up good inside; however, when it comes to the long shot, I doubt that I got staying power. (13.1.17)

So, basically, he can heal people, but he can't figure out how to coexist with another human? Well, figuring out how to love can seem like a superpower sometimes, we suppose.

Lipsha tries to heal his grandfather when Nector develops dementia/Alzheimer's (and starts lusting after Lulu again), but his efforts go horribly awry when Nector accidentally chokes on a heart Lipsha had been using for the occasion. Yikes.

That aside, he gets his happy ending, winning "June's" car from King and driving it home, which symbolically was kind of like bringing her home with him. So, despite starting out rough, Lipsha ends up giving us some serious warm fuzzies.