Saying Good Bye to My Mother-in-Love

This time she broke her hip.  Although she was in a ritzy assisted-living facility, the ravages of Alzheimer’s had taken her balance, her wit, her sense and ultimately, her dignity.              My husband drove the six hours to get there and met up with his sister.  Along with my brother-in-law, the three kept vigil over her, did jigsaw puzzles and told corny jokes....more

81 Year Old Man is Killed While Riding His Bike

 "81 Year Old Man is Killed While Riding His Bike"  That was the headline in  the small town's newspaper.  It really says very little and the normal response would be something to the effect that he lived a good life and probably didn't suffer as his death was on impact. ...more

Bibliophiles, Bookstores and Endings

My mom was a school librarian for 30 years. She retired before 60 as she began working in her early 20s and never stopped. When she told me she was calling it quits, I teased her all the time. “You’re not ready to retire,” I always said. I couldn’t see this smart, vibrant woman no longer getting up and going to work every day.  My picture of retirement was limited to occasional volunteering and philanthropic work. Traveling. All great things she’d done in the past, but things I couldn’t picture her doing in lieu of being in a school library....more
@Karen Ballum I'm with you Karen.  We no longer have any easily accessible bookstores. They are ...more

The Fish Died. Now What? How To Manage the Death of a Pet

The fish did not look good. He wasn’t swimming around. He was tipping over to one side. The clock was ticking for this poor dude....more

Send In The Clowns

I have always been an optimistic person.  A bit goofy perhaps, with a wry sense of humor.  It's how I look at the world.  Having boys is often like one big, long practical joke, but I have always chosen to perceive their antics in a humorous light.  When friends stress out or worry about something, I question, "Can you do anything to change the outcome?  If not, direct your energy somewhere else."  So, I am seen as light-hearted; naive even.  I like to laugh at the world, not drown in sorrow....more

Death, Loss And Their Potential To Awaken Life

As I sat in a local breakfast spot with two of my best girlfriends this morning I received a phone call that a young woman my family knows passed away in a drowning accident yesterday evening. She was a local middle school teacher who left behind her husband and two young children, both under the age of four....more
@elaineR.N. Elaine and Melanie! How good to see you here, when I return this morning. I had to ...more

Watching Your Mother Die

You push your metal chair way back in the cramped hospital room. You’re still only two feet from her bed, but you need space to breathe—even though she barely can.You watch her 59-year-old mouth gape like a dying carp’s and thank god and the morphine that she’s unconscious. You ignore the fact that you’ve been sweating the cancer-ward smell—latex, alcohol, flat Sprite—out of your skin for weeks.You also ignore the truth: that time and tumors can’t fill the chasm between you and the woman lying there. You feel the old hurt mix with the new hurt so savagely your bones ache....more
If I hadn't known better, I might have thought I wrote this...  So many similarities to my own ...more

You are going to die (and other stress relievers)

I can't be the only one, when watching morning shows or scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, who's thinking pleasefortheloveofgodjustshutup, who empathizes with the character Michael Douglas plays in the movie Falling Down....more

A Friend Indeed

 Some real life stories are stranger than fiction. Sometimes you should never question why some things happen in your life because you can never get an answer to that.I grew up in a middle class family in Ramnad in South India. I had a good friend and we were inseparable, almost joined at the hips. Everyone said that we were more like brothers than friends.Then my friend met this girl.You will call me a MCP if I say, “And there started the trouble.”...more