Lesson #4: How do You Say That in French?

It may be a global world out there, but here in Quebec it continues to be an embarrassingly small one, where people argue over language ad nauseum. It’s enough to make you sick. But wait! If you are sick (and even if the law likes to pretend that you have rights), it doesn’t mean you are going to get a health care professional who speaks your language. Which is a crying shame, because when you’re not feeling your best, it’s really hard to focus on a foreign language. … More Lesson #4: How do You Say That in French?

Lesson #3: Leave Your Ego at the Door

I woke up wanting to protect my parents from me. Bullish, angry bossy me, ready to rant and rave at a moment’s notice, poised to take on the world and be their caregiving hero, no matter what it takes to make it work. Yelling at doctors, slamming the phone down on telemarketers, telling door-to-door salespeople that they shouldn’t be badgering my parents… all with good intentions, of course! Protecting them from the outside world, or so I thought. … More Lesson #3: Leave Your Ego at the Door

Lesson #2: Role Over

My mother and I have always been close, even though I left home at 18 and have been blazing my own trail since. When my last relationship ended, she was the first person I called, sobbing and hiccuping over the phone. She’s never, ever not been there for her five children…the role of mother is essential to her existence. This is so important for me to remember now, as the struggle over “roles” becomes a daily puzzle. … More Lesson #2: Role Over

Lesson #1: Lose the Label

We were standing in a retail store, having painstakingly chosen a new electric razor for my father. For the third time in fifteen minutes, he asked the saleslady “When did these gadgets get so expensive?” and made a joke about getting a senior’s discount. He is so charming with strangers, my father. He loves to make people laugh. And the saleslady did laugh… politely each time, each time a little less exuberantly. At some point our eyes met, and I sensed that she understood… … More Lesson #1: Lose the Label