The Four Lessons of Festivus

What modern holiday made its debut on a popular television show in the late 1990s?  Seinfeld devotees know the answer.  Festivus!Today, Festivians around the globe commonly mark the holiday on December 23.  The celebration comes with a catchy tagline, "Festivus for the rest of us," and little else.  Yes, it is a holiday about nothing.  Yet, for many, like me, it is enough.  Festivus famously allows people to make of it what they will....more

Grandchilden? No, Thank You

Sunday, Sept. 7 is National Grandparents Day.  I thought about this day of recognition when my best friend told me she and her husband will soon have another grandchild, their sixth.  My friend is excited, and she can’t wait to learn if it is boy or girl and what name the parents will choose. When baby arrives, there will be a shower with gifts of soft blankets, tiny outfits and colorful, tactile toys. ...more

Alzheimer's, the "Sleeping Giant," is Now Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

A new study about death and Alzheimer’s disease made headlines yesterday.  It revealed what all of us in the Alzheimer’s community already knew: Alzheimer’s disease is a “sleeping giant” and it is dramatically under-reported as the cause of death, especially in older Americans....more

Lesson Learned: Bloggers, Pay Attention When Selecting Images and Make Sure You Have Permission to Use Them

It was last November.  I was writing a post about my mother’s final days on this earth. Mom had battled Alzheimer’s for more than eight years, and her sad, long journey was almost at an end. The image I chose for my post was a beautiful Tree of Life creation which fit perfectly with my subject matter.  I remember hesitating just for a moment.  Was it an image I had purchased from a service?  Had I found it in Creative Commons?  Was it okay to use? ...more
thegomamas Appreciate you coming to read.more

Caring for My Mom in the Latter Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

 My 92-year-old mother is in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease. Last week, when my sister and I brought Mummy, as we call her, home to live in my house, she was still able to walk with the aid of a walker, say a few words, eat and experience some basic interactions. We both sensed Mummy was happy to be at my home and she looked relaxed for the first time in a long time....more

Do You Remember Your First Day of School?

Do you remember your very first day of school?  I recall having mixed feelings about starting Kindergarten in 1960.  Here's my story.Situated in the center of our small town, the old brick building had creaky wooden floors, wide staircases and high, very high ceilings that loomed large above the heads of the elementary-age children.  I’d been inside the school before, walking through the main door alongside my mother and then waiting on a rickety folding chair in the empty hallway while she attended parent-teacher conferences for my older sisters....more

Dear God, Please Help My Mother Die

I am not a religious person.  I’m not even sure I believe in a higher power, let alone one true God.  Even so, for the past several years I often find myself praying.When I do pray, it is always about my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease....more

Reporter Helen Thomas Paved the Way

She was a fixture. She sat in the center seat of the front row. She usually asked the first question and then closed the press conference with the simple phrase, “Thank you, Mr. President.”...more

Mummy and Her Baby Doll: Finding Comfort for the Alzheimer's Person

Those of us who are Alzheimer’s caregivers are used to seeing abilities ebb away.  My mom — whom we call Mummy — was once a highly social person who always had to stay busy.  Cooking and baking were her passions, and so were endless games of cards with family and friends.However, those days are long past.As the disease progressed, Mummy’s personality and abilities changed.  Much of what defined her as a person has simply disappeared.  Now, my sisters and I struggle to find activities to engage Mummy, something that brings a purpose into her life....more

Death by Bread, What a Way to Go

It started innocently enough.  I was shopping at an upscale grocery chain that specializes in organic kumquats and high prices.Strolling through produce, I picked out some berries.  Next, I selected some frozen shrimp, a salad and finally a container of the prepared mixed veggies that I so love.  Breezing past the bakery, I almost made it to the checker without stopping. That’s when I smelled it.Bread.Not just any bread.  This lofty, artisan loaf boasted its own name, “Ancient Grain.” ...more
Hey there, Nancy! You and your Ancient Grain are singing my song. There is something just so ...more