Always When

The crows were uncommonly loud that day. She heard them from inside the house even, as she stood beside the stove stirring his oatmeal. Afterward, as she went out to refill the bird feeder, they screamed at the woman, reminded her how she’d always thought them harbingers of death. Their caws were so insistent she had to stop and lean against the ancient oak in the side yard.            “This is the day.” She spoke the words into a wad of damp handkerchief. When she finally moved on, she repeated the phrase, added to it....more

Will she still be here?

  Finley has been spending a large part of her days at Nana’s house. She goes to school in the morning, most days she asks me to drive her and requests that we not take “the secret way” which is code for an alley parents can take to have teachers pick the kids up and shepherd them into the building. We walk in hand-in-hand, kiss dramatically at the door and, and then off she goes for 2 hours at school and four hours at Nana’s....more
Finley and I are home together today, as we are each Friday. Tomorrow is Betty's birthday. ...more

The Midlife On-Ramp

It’s funny how age sneaks up on you. This is not new news, of course—I remember that my parents were always talking about it; they were unusually open in discussing life’s essential confoundery, the way one is constantly craning one’s neck, trying (and failing) to get the big view. But nonetheless, there’s no way to personally prepare for aging's eventual descent....more
What a lovely meditation.  Each decade brings its own wisdom and sometimes re-writes what we ...more

Should Doctors Send Sympathy Cards?

Over on Facebook, I pondered why I always got such nice sympathy cards from my vet when I lost a pet, but had received nothing from any of my mother's doctors when she died. (Granted, it's not too late. A card or phone call could turn up at some point, but for now the flow of cards has slowed and I'm assuming the window for sending would have passed.)...more

GERD is No Joke

The ghost of a tuna fish tried to kill me last night while I slept....more

Alzheimer’s May Take My Grandmother’s Mind, But It Will Never Take Her Spirit.

One of my favorite memories growing up was when I was five and had the Chicken Pox.  You’d think it would be a time I wouldn’t look back on fondly.  I mean, who actually reminisces about itchy blisters? It wasn’t the pox that I liked, but it was sitting in our sun room for five itchy days wearing oven mitts with my grandmother, Nini, as she taught me all about birds.  ...more

My grandmother taught me so much and she is at the end stages of alzheimer's. Your story is so ...more

My Guardian Angel

Grandpa &Grandma 2002...more

Black Lungs

I’m dying.  The doctor said it, standing there in the hall with my x-ray films, so it must be true.  Now the kids crouch beside me and talk loud, as if I’m deaf.  Coddle me.  Bring me cases of Ensure.  Their whispers are like buzzing flies when they think I’m asleep. The grandkids beg me to give up cigarettes.  “So you’ll live longer, Gramps,” they say.  “We want you with us forever.” They don’t know what it’s like to only have one comfort left in the world.  Well, maybe two.  My easy chair in front of the big screen tv conso...more

The Importance of A Dying and Death File

A Dying and Death File for Those We Love ...more