Lesson #39: Be Grateful

It’s been two months since we lost Mom. Grief still catches me by surprise, and I guess this stage lasts a while. Something will happen that I want to tell her, or I will see a show I know she would have enjoyed. I’m also having some sadder moments of second guessing; wishing we had known or done more. I try to push those thoughts away, and focus instead on two packages that I carry in my heart. … More Lesson #39: Be Grateful

Lesson #38: How to Say Goodbye

I watched my father at lunch last week, noting the grief etched onto his face, the shadow of sorrow in his eyes. It’s sad to see this 91-year old lion without his mate of 64 years. I get the impression he’s processing the loss of his wife a little at a time, because of its potential to overwhelm. Which is smart. And we are there for him, like spotters around a trampoline, our arms open. Helping him keep his routine, which includes lunch with his best friend every Friday. The two old cuties kept the chatter light and lively, a silent pact in the midst of grief. … More Lesson #38: How to Say Goodbye

Lesson #34: Learn How To Fly

Family is everything, and (as I’m now learning) family is everywhere. When I first started caregiving for my parents, I was like a baby bird who had toppled out of its nest, huddled in the cold rain at the base of the tree. Lonely. Vulnerable. Uncertain. Two amazing parents who had raised and cared for five children had become aging seniors, both afflicted with a cognitive disorder and in need of daily care themselves. What now?  … More Lesson #34: Learn How To Fly

Lesson #33: Crisis? What Crisis?

I’m not good in a crisis. In my dreams, I’m this incredibly courageous woman who leaps tall buildings, laughing and bubbling with confidence. In my fantasies, I am an orator of note; able to express myself elegantly with witty wisdoms that make everyone shake their head in awe and agreement. In reality, I’m neither. I crumble with anxiety at the merest whiff of uncertainty, I cringe before the specter of responsibility, and I become tongue-tied and dumb with despair when confronted with a conundrum. … More Lesson #33: Crisis? What Crisis?

Lesson #32: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t

It’s not easy to share our health woes; there’s so much stigma in our cynical society. If you whine too much, you’re a hypochondriac. If you have something incurable, it’s all in your head. If you have something really wrong with you, you shouldn’t be out in public. Stop coughing and sneezing on us! Stop blocking the aisles with your wheelchair! Stay home, why dontchya? … More Lesson #32: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t