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surrender and humility: blog post by Andrea Hurley, When the Table Turns

by Andrea
January 21, 2014

I was speaking with a close friend the other day. She had recently hurt her back and was in a lot of pain, but rather than complaining about the pain, she spoke about gratitude. This struck me. She was not only grateful that her back was showing signs of relief, but she was expressing gratitude for the years remaining in which her body would be healthy and pain free. She said that when the time comes that her body will begin to age and will lose strength and vitality, it will require surrender and humility. Surrender and humilityher...

by Judy
January 20, 2014

I woke up very early the other morning a bit stunned. I’m sure everyone has had that experience of waking up in the middle of the night and feeling disoriented and insecure. It’s quite a raw feeling when one feels up against the reality of life and death. In that state of mind, I started to think about impermanence and how really everything is truly changing all the time. I had the image of being an island out at sea. This island has a basic solid ground, but it’s also always moving, coming upon and viewing new landscapes. Particularly because...

Count my blessings: when the table turns

by Judy
January 6, 2014

I have much to be grateful for this year.

First and most importantly my elderly mom born coming close to a century ago in 1916 was with me at the close of 2013. Not only was she with me, but in spite of her ailments, still glad to have “made it” as she said to me. We listened to music together at the close of the evening.

I am very grateful that I have had the chance to be with my mother in her twilight years and can say that we share a love and sweetness together that I would never have imagined when younger. It would not have...

by Judy
December 23, 2013

After my last essay about gratitude, I received an e-mail from my cousin Matty who said, “If only people could look for the positive, like you do, the world would be a better place.” I thought in many ways looking for the positive, in this case with regard to caring for our mothers (Andrea's and mine) has been an ongoing motif or strand that runs through all our essays. And it brings me pause to reflect upon why this is the case…why us? Is it merely because in many ways we have been very fortunate? We have...

by Judy
December 9, 2013 

As we have just passed the holiday of Thanksgiving and approaching Christmas, I am struck by how both days are really about gratitude. Thanksgiving is ostensibly about the gratitude that the Pilgrims felt after their first harvest in a new land, but has expanded to include giving thanks for so much more. A time to commune with our loved ones for what we have been given. And Christmas is also about gratitude – gratitude, joy and love. Not having been brought up as a Christian, I can still experience and appreciate the teachings of Christ, which...

the gift of seeing

by Andrea
December 2, 2013

We live in a world that is all about change. Grow. Change. Evolve. These words seem to define some of the deepest values in contemporary human life. While dear to our hearts, it is also a popular belief that we are the authors of our own changes. "We can change ourselves, but we can’t change others" is a common phrase. But is this actually true? I don’t think so. In fact, I think not only can we change others, but we do so all the time—only we may not...

mornings with mom, an essay by Judy Fox of When the Table Turns

by Judy
November 15, 2013 

There is such a sweet time that happens often with my mom...it's the window that opens between the time she wakes in the morning and has breakfast - that interim of time when she is just opening her eyes and I'm there to say good morning and give her a kiss. Sometimes she just smiles with such innocence and may ask me a simple question like, “Did you sleep good last night?” And then I'll ask her about how she slept. The other morning she asked me to get into bed with her - it was 8 am on Sunday morning. I crawled into the narrow hospital bed...

before the lights go out: a blog post by Andrea of When the Table Turns

by Andrea
November 12, 2013

This past spring I brought my mother to the birthday party of one of her dear old friends from the neighborhood where we grew up. He was turning one hundred years old. The party was held at the prestigious Harvard Club in Boston and there must have been over 250 people there to honor his life. I was a little nervous bringing my 95 year old mother to such a big event, aware of how she might feel overwhelmed by the crowd and activity. But she rose to the occasion with more than aplomb. She was delightfully engaged and relaxed and reconnected...

by Judy
October 28, 2013 

For the past few weeks my mom has been saying she is going to go very soon. When she’s said this, sometimes it’s been in a very calm way, but other times, she’s expressed sadness and also concern about leaving me, her only child at this point. It’s been a very raw time and in that sense a certain degree of gloom in the air. My mother has always been quite intuitive, but at this point I really don’t know how clearly she’s seeing the future. She has also always been fundamentally very positive and down to earth. So of course she is going to die...

when we don't have unlimited time

by Andrea
October 23, 2013

Time has so many purposes. On one level, it helps us to prioritize and organize our lives, and helps to coordinate complex societies as the world moves into the future. But time has another function. It can work on our hearts and in our relationships to make us more deeply happy. 

Recently I listened to an interview by Krista Tippet (of On Being) with Psychologist, Dr. Alan Dienstag. In the...