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eBook - When the Table Turns by Andrea Hurley and Judy Fox 

First eBOOK!
A compilation of favorite essays
Download and enjoy!

Caring for Elderly Parents | Caring for Aging Parents | Elder Care

Here in the west, we live in a culture where our elderly are all too often not valued for who they are. They are left undiscovered in their final and precious years. These elderly may be our very own parents. Someday they will be us. The essays below—written by two friends, both adult daughters of elderly mothers—are philosophical and heartfelt reflections on the experience of caring for elderly parents. Each story reaches for a new narrative, which does not deny the heartbreak or challenge of this changing journey, but also looks beneath the surface where surprising new possibilities may be found. More

Eulogy for beautiful mom: Rita Marie Marra Hurley

My mother passed away on May 7, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. This is the eulogy I wrote for her... 
My mother, Rita Marie Marra Hurley, mother of 9, grandmother of 16, great grandmother of 12, and second mother to so many of our friends and spouses. She lived a beautiful and full life. She was fun-loving, smart, hard-working, healthy, fierce at times, and so very gentle. She was deeply spiritual, anchored in her Catholic faith. Always welcoming others into our home, both in Jamaica Plain, and at Lake George, she created a rich life for our family.

quiet endurance and unbroken commitment

by Andrea: In my last post, I gave you a glimpse into the beautiful life of my sister, Mary. It was only a glimpse, but when any of us spend even a moment to glimpse into the beautiful life of another, it can be enough to ignite a spark of that life in our own. It can be enough to open our hearts and minds to new possibilities that did not exist prior to that moment. We may not always be aware of it, but beneath the surface of our human interactions, those sparks are like vectors to our future self.

Beautiful Mary

by Andrea: A human life is impossible to wrap your arms around—in its fullness, complexity, completeness, and history. It is too big, too vast and mysteriously endless. The more you ask, the more you find, and the more you find, the more you ask. The more you look, the more you see, and the more you see, the more you look. This goes on like an ever-expanding galaxy. I’m not always in touch with this expansive reality, but a window into this knowledge seems to reveal itself strongly when a loved-one passes away.

by Judy: A week ago was my mom’s birthday. It has now been one year and ten months since she died. I lit a yahrzeit candle that burned all day and through the night until the early morning hours. I don’t know why, but I find it very comforting to have my mom’s candle burning - a sense that she is with me.

By Judy: A week ago marked a year and a half since my mom died. I wonder when one stops noticing these markings. I almost always remember when I am on these “special” dates like when my brother and father died, which was now more than twenty-five years ago.

by Judy: It's been now about 16 months since my mom died. Whenever I attempt to access what is happening for me, I find that I never can pin it down exactly as the "mourning" process for a loved one is in some ways forever and whatever I might say is not always true.

what do you do when you don't know what to do?

By Andrea: What do you do when you don't know what to do? What do you do when you need to make an important decision, but the answers are not yet clear? What do you do when preoccupation sets in and pressure builds, making the process of deciding even more difficult? At this stage I often feel a thin veil develop between myself and the world. That's when I know I have to go within and listen. Listen as silence reveals its secrets.

by Judy: It’s been almost four years since writing on this blog site; beginning with my mother’s stroke, then living with her for three years until she died and now a year later.

by Judy: It’s been exactly a year since my mom died. I woke up this morning and turned on my facebook page and sure enough a beautiful photo of my mom appeared – the one here – as it noted remembrances from a year ago.

by Judy: Can a place be a moment in time - a time past which was not even when I lived, but a moment that lives in my memory, an expansive memory that includes more than what was said; it includes a whole feeling sense.

by Judy: For almost a year I’ve been writing in response to my mother’s death; tracking my own grieving process and all the responses that arise.

the essence of a beautiful life

by Andrea: Acknowledging loss and grief as an ongoing part of every day reality is at the core of my relationship with my aging mother. By this I do not mean it is morbid, depressing or sorrowful. Quite the contrary. The relationship I have with my mother is full of light, joy and very deep love. It is pure and untouched by complexity. It has ripened with age.

by Judy: I seem to be, whether I am aware of it or not, in a continual contemplation of loss and grief; grappling to understand it in a way that I didn’t in the past when I lost someone I loved. I am older now and in a way have more time to reflect.

by Judy: I am just driving home and all of a sudden I feel the loss of my mom. It is experienced as the sense that something is not there anymore - a space that is now empty - a space that held so much love and care. It was a constant space, my mom, who was always there to speak to, share good news with, just laugh with