Category: Aging Parents

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Next week is Christmas.  As the mother of two youngsters, it is supposed to be a joyous, happy time of year.  More realistically, it is supposed to be merely a busy, stressed out time of year.  But, for me, I keep thinking about the last Christmas shared with my father. Cue the tears.   Technically speaking,... Read more »

My Relationship to Motherhood

I told this story of my relationship to motherhood at last weekend’s Mother’s Day edition of Story Sessions at City Winery, Chicago.   You know those little girls who play with baby dolls and start prepping for motherhood from the time they are still in diapers themselves?  Yeah, that was not me.  At 34, married... Read more »

Bridges and Threads and Sundaes: Connecting Our Kids to Those Who Would Love Them, But Are Dead

My Mom died when I was pregnant with my first child, a daughter who was named for her.  Four years later my daughter died.  And five years after that my Dad died.  Three of the most important and loved people in the world to me will never be known by my two sons.  That just... Read more »

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown: The Funeral Recessional That Never Was

This post is part of ChicagoNow’s monthly “Blogapalooza” feature where bloggers are provided a prompt and required to write and publish a post within an hour.  Tonight’s prompt was this:  “Pick a song that has special meaning to you and explain why.” My Dad’s been on my mind a lot today.  Probably because the first... Read more »

Old Furniture

My home is full of old furniture.  I sleep on the futon my husband had when we met; the same pine futon base he used as a bachelor.  My family eats meals off an old green enamel table from the 1920s that my Dad found in the basement of a house he was flipping in... Read more »

In Case of Emergency

I’m taking a break.  No one I love is allowed to need me in any extraordinary capacity for the undefinable future.  No sickness.  No breaks. No demanding needs.  No crisis allowed.  Like I said, I’m taking a break. For long (or short, depending on how you look at it) swaths of my life, I have... Read more »

The End of a Life in Photos: Saying Goodbye to Da

If you live long enough, chances are you will experience a bed on wheels, lots of wires, and mysterious bruises.
My 81 year old father, Da, died last spring.  He was a lion, a character, a flawed King Lear, my anchor.  He taught me much and I am grateful for his lessons.  I miss him. Because I spent twelve years working professionally with older adults in health care, aging was something he and I spoke... Read more »

Dividing Dad

I am the youngest of four siblings.  The baby. Three girls and a boy.  I have never written too much at all about family dynamics because it’s not solely my story to tell. As with any family, there are many stories to tell, but I don’t have exclusive ownership of them, so I simply don’t... Read more »

Don't Worry About a Thing

It will be okay.  I know this because if you wait long enough, the sting of initial grief passes, eases, ebbs.  I’ve buried my Mom and daughter, so burying my Dad is not the shock it could have been had this been my first time at the sadness rodeo.  But it still sucks. Today really... Read more »

Aging Parents: A Promise Kept

My Mom lived the last eleven months of her life with right sided paralysis caused by a bleed out in a brain tumor she didn’t know she had.  She could no longer walk, get out of a bed or car independently, bathe herself, or even wipe. There were cognitive changes and her communication was severely... Read more »