I overheard a conversation. “How are your parents doing?” one asked. “Oh, you know, they’re deteriorating,” said the other. “That’s it?” I thought. “That’s how she sums up her parents… They’re deteriorating? What about, “They’re facing some challenges but they’re coping ” or “They’re declining and struggling to maintain their independence” or “All things considered, they’re […]
We have a ten pound mirror. It’s not that it weighs ten pounds. It’s a floor length mirror surrounded by engraved industrial wood. It’s a work of art, really. But that’s not why it’s special. It’s special because it’s a ten pound mirror. There is something wrong with the optics. You walk by it, […]
When you do a long distance walk, you learn a lot about hydration. Hydration is what we used to call drinking, but it’s a lot more complicated. Drinking is taking a liquid into your mouth and swallowing. Hydration involves what you drink, when you drink, how much you drink, and even what […]
I don’t understand mid-life orphans. They complain about care giving responsibilities and then, when their parents pass away, they lament about being orphans. They say they feel bereft, unmoored, devastated by life without parents. Don’t they realize how lucky they are? Having elderly parents is a privilege some of us never had.
I have been looking at my pile of orphan earrings, earrings without partners, wondering why I keep them. It’s true that a lost earring does sometimes show up, but many have been mateless for years. Why do I keep even those single earrings?
In sailing, the technique used to move against the wind is called tacking. In common use, tacking is the concept of making progress by zigzagging rather than moving forward directly. For adult children helping their parents transition from one home to another, tacking can be a useful concept.
I was sitting in the lobby of an assisted living residence when a resident met his son at the door, hugged him, and asked, “Where’s Mother?” “Mom’s dead, Dad,” said the son. “She died three days ago. Don’t you remember?” “What, mother died?” he said, grief and panic written on his face. Less than a […]
Two years ago, a friend died suddenly after a horrendously short battle with cancer. I guess we all have our own way of remembering and honoring people we’ve lost. I remember Peg through “Peg miles”. I am a walker. For 25 years, I’ve walked for exercise and enjoyment. I don headphones, select my favorite exercise […]
Thirty years ago, my 92 year old grandmother tried to kill herself. They called us from her personal care residence to say she had been found unresponsive, with an empty bottle of pills by her bed. My brother and I rushed to the hospital and heard the sound of her stomach being pumped. For […]
Two sisters were faced with who should have a set of dishes that had passed from their grandmother to their mother, and now to them. As they discussed who would get the dishes, they realized that what they both wanted was for their mother and grandmother to “be present” at future family gatherings, and so they […]