We All Become Orphans at Some Point

I’ve been thinking of my grandfather lately, which is odd because he passed away two decades ago and I haven’t thought much about him since. The ugly truth is that his death didn’t really affect me, and it wasn’t all that surprising.Though my grandfather was only 69 at the time, he had already suffered one heart attack and had developed emphysema caused by years of smoking a pipe. A number of his siblings had already died of heart disease....more
LanaL  I'm sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. It's hard to imagine a world without parents ...more

Falling Off the Cliff: Moving My Mother Into Assisted Living

Deep down, we knew it would happen, but we didn't really have any other choice. It was no longer safe for my mother to continue to live alone in her senior-living apartment.  She needed more care, more activities, more everything. My sister and I were exhausted and we'd reached that tipping point, where if you don't take action, life could spiral out of control very quickly....more
I'm so sorry it must have been such a tough call for both you and your sister. But it is an ...more

Hurricane Jane

The first time she came to live with me she was heartbroken. She showed up at my doorstep on a Saturday afternoon after a long week and a long ride, with everything she owned in this world stuffed in a plastic grocery bag. Just days earlier, Hurricane Katrina had made its way pretty much right up her street in Waveland, Mississippi. When it left, it washed out to sea the entire town, including my in-laws' house and virtually everything they owned. ...more

We've got the makings for a sit com...

  I certainly never planned my life to be like this, and if you had asked me 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago if I thought that I would be raising my son by myself, with the help of my mom and dad who live in the guest house in my back yard I would have howled with laughter.  But, here we are. I lived in Arizona with my boyfriend when I had my son.  My boyfriend suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and the heat was really hard on him, and he loved mountains.  I was originally from Oregon and after I had the baby it made sense to come back home.   It ...more

A Weekend of Family

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Dementia: When the Book and Its Cover Don't Match

Looks can be deceiving.  Mary, a slight, sweet woman, moved into my mother's independent living home about six months ago.  Mummy can't remember her name and instead calls her "the little young gal."Mary's actually 83, so while she is no spring chicken, she might be considered young by many of the residents....more
Oh, that is my grandmother to a tee.  She was pleasant and social and nodded and agreed and ...more

What Makes Me Really Angry? Dementia.

I first noticed signs of my mother’s dementia during a trip home to Minnesota.  I remember feeling panicked.  You see, my dad had Alzheimer’s disease and needed full-time care for more than five years.  That long, awful journey took a terrible toll on him as well as my mom, who was his primary care giver.  My sisters and I watched helplessly as my dad turned into a shell of a person....more
You're so right.  I struggle with the notion that there is so little support for people with ...more

Thankful this week for the kindness of strangers

 Moms. Aging. Theirs and ours.It's been a week around here.  And I know you all know what that means.It wasn't a bad week, just a very busy one with a couple of bumps in the road.Both of our moms had some problems negotiating the world this week.  And in each case their travels were made a little lighter by the kindness of strangers. ...more

Will There Be Childfree Regret When Parents Are Gone?

A city-data forum recently had a thread started by a person who had suddenly lost both of her parents. She ponders regret for not having children in a way had not thought of before, and the 11 pages of comments are worth the read....more

Time Stands Still in the Middle of the Night

My Mom called me this morning.  However, this is what we refer to in the Midwest as a mixed blessing.  It was encouraging because Mummy has a very difficult time using the phone for outgoing calls and it often takes her several attempts to reach the person she wants to speak with.  On the other hand, it was 1:35 AM....more