The King-Sized Sheet: A Veterans Day Story

My 80 year old parents use a fitted sheet on their king-sized bed.  Their one and only fitted sheet.  Once each week, they remove it, put it through the washer and the dryer, and back on the bed it goes.Well, you know what happens after a couple of years of this.  One day recently, my father hauled the sheet out of the dryer, spread it out on the bed, tugged at one of the corners, and rrrriiiippp!  A sheet that is used daily only lasts so long, and this one had reached the end of its natural life....more

Driving Miss Daisy And Making Peace With Wal-Mart

Several years ago I found myself in the position of having to take my aging mother's car keys away from her.  Now, before you start to judge me about that, I need to explain that my mother has macular degeneration and is legally blind.  At the time I had no idea how bad her eyesight had become.  I just happened to take her to her eye specialist that day and before he left the exam room I simply asked him what her driving limitations should be.  An innocent enough question, right?  Well, his reply startled me:  "It should be limited to her driveway."  OH MY...more

Caring for Elderly Parents - Connecting for Caring

Making Care Easier (MCE) is working to improve the ways families are caring for their elderly parents. Now more than ever, families are spread across the country. Our mission is to make care easier for the entire family by providing the tools and information needed to help everyone stay connected and take an active part in caring. I'd love to hear your story and get your suggestions what we can build online to make your lives easier....more

Elder Care: Conversations About Dying

A few years ago I read an article in the NY Times about talking with your parents about dying and death. It moved me so much, I cut it out, stashed it in my "to write about" file and never dared look at it again.The author, Dr. Ruth Livingston, was a psychotherapist. She dared to bare her heart and soul in the article in a way that I found profound, anguishing and uplifting. More than anyone else I've read or talked to, she captured the poignancy, sadness and privilege of participating in the waning months of an elderly person's life....more

US healthcare at its finest?...I hope not!

It's hella early on Sunday morning...I woke up at 3:00 AM and I'm still awake...seems to be my pattern lately. Wake up at 3:00 AM, hop online, become freakishly tired by 5:00 AM...go back to sleep and...you guessed it...not be able to wake up when the alarm goes off. I guess I just have too much on my mind these days. But, who doesn't? ...more

Pickaway

Today I was in a meeting at work.  My cell phone kept ringing.  The first couple of times I didn't even look to see who was calling...just turned the ringer to vibrate.  After the 3rd call within 10 minutes, I finally had the God given sense to look to see who was calling me...what on earth could be so urgent?  How rude!  Didn't people realize I am busy?...more

Sunday was a bad day...

I cried while I was at Target today.  You know, I'm really focused on making sure the things I share in this diary are not all sad....more

Do social workers really listen or have they heard it all before ?

My soon-to-be-82 year-old mother has been a diabetic since she was 40. For 25 years she has been injecting herself with insulin. She would jokingly say  that her face was the only spot still untouched by a needle.  When she joined my siblings to live here in the US, the doctors mercifully told her that her diabetes could be controlled by pills and she would only need her insulin at certain high glucose level readings. She was a changed woman after that,  popping her pills religiously....more

The Devil's Lapdog, Part 1

Paw used to like to tell this story: Once there was a dog that took up at our house. She was a fairly large yellow dog, gentle and ingratiating. The kind that follows you, and follows you, and follows you everywhere. ...more

I Watch Her Fade

"Let's go!" she yelled. "What'd you say?" I asked as I went to see what my elderly Mother meant by that, fearing that she may have gotten mixed up. It's starting to occur more frequently to my 86 year old Mother. Her memory is fading and it's scaring us both. "It's time to go," she said. Oh, my. How can I frame this delicately? I know she'll be embarrassed that she's gotten the time mixed up and I hate to hurt her fragile feelings this way. ...more

It's a very moving post, the quality of sadness tempered so powerfully with a strange kind of ...more