An Overflowing Tree of Life

The past two weeks have been as colorful and full as the Arbol de la vida (artesenias) by Oscar Soteno Elias that I saw at the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City.   It began when both boys came home for the holidays, filling our house with cheer as luggage, presents and books covered

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Holiday Cheer

Every year, my neighbors and I host a holiday gathering for our block. It’s a good time to catch up on news in the neighborhood where I have lived for 27 years. Jim, who is 95, slowly ambles up the driveway with his walker, his caregiver guiding him by his elbow. He sits on the

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Short Term Memory

  I went to Staples, the office supply store, to recycle used printer cartridges and to buy new ones. “You want HP 30A and Brother L61,” the sales clerk told me as she scanned the used cartridges. “They are over there, on the far aisle.” She gestured to an entire wall of toner cartridges, hanging

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Remembering Day of the Dead

    A year ago, I left my husband with the caregiver and went to Oaxaca, Mexico for Day of the Dead with friends and family. We were a convivial group of nine, ranging in age from 26 to 87. There were travel mishaps, missed connections, long periods of being stranded at airports, and a six

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Dreaming Out Loud

My husband has a hard time initiating speech after his brain injury. He will answer questions but doesn’t start conversations on his own. But sometimes, he talks in his sleep and in that semi-conscious state, his voice comes out loud and resonant, like it was pre-brain injury. “You are going to lose,” he said last

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The Right Caregiver

  Finding the right caregiver is not an easy process. Caregivers become a part of the fabric of your lives, helping your loved one in the most intimate ways and a witness to your everyday life. In the beginning, I didn’t know what to ask or how to evaluate who would be the right one.

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What I’m Reading Now

I have always been fascinated by other people’s lives. As a child, I read about girls that went to summer camp in the woods, away from their families. Or girls that spent their summers on Cape Cod picking blueberries – lives so different from my Chinese American life in Salinas, California. I read to get

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Write Every Day

Write Every Day! In 8th grade, Miss Yaxtheimer, my English teacher, made us keep a journal. We had to turn in five pages per week. It didn’t matter what we wrote, we could even repeat the same sentence over and over but we had to turn in five handwritten pages each week. I wrote mostly

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