My Vision of Hell

  I’m packing for a trip to New York to see my son Zack then on to Washington DC for an education conference. It’s not the myriad details that need attending before I leave — arranging for the caregiver, planning out meals and stocking the refrigerator with enough food for a week — that leaves

Share

Oh, What a World

I’m listening to Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread in the car during my commute to work. “Oh, what a world, what a world,” says Abby to her future mother-in-law, Mrs. Whitshank. “That’s what the wicked witch says in The Wizard of Oz.” “In a way, it sounds kind of pitiful,” Mrs. Whitshank says. Those

Share

Be More Active!

My husband and I are in Mammoth for the long weekend. I was hoping it would snow so we could hole up in the condo next to a crackling fire. But the weather has been sunny and warm, in the 50’s, which made the late Friday night drive easy and clear of ice. I know

Share

Why I Love Candy Crush

I am addicted to Candy Crush. And Candy Crush Soda and now Candy Crush Jelly. Why do I spend hours playing this simple game of matching three candies and getting excited about striped candies and candy bombs? It is not a game of skill or strategy and it doesn’t require a lot of thought. It’s

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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.

Share