Enter your email address to receive weekly essays:

Check your inbox for a verification request. Thank you!


by Judy
July 20, 2013 

I’ve been thinking about a question that I’m sure comes up for many people with regard to telling or not telling an elderly loved one that a dear person close to them has died. Especially when someone is very old, it’s not always an easy answer. You know of course the person will be very upset to hear the news and yet it's important that they know. Are there times when it would be better not to tell them? This question for reflection came up recently with my mom. She had a cousin six years younger than her...

when the table turns: change

by Judy
July 4th, 2013 

Since I started writing this blog, I notice a theme I keep returning to is about change: changes in my mother, myself, in our relationship and in the whole situation. Being in such proximity to my mom every day and also writing so often, I can’t help but be reminded about this. I will read something I wrote only a month ago and realize this is no longer true…yet again the tables are turning. For example these days my mother isn’t laughing as much in that abandoned way that I wrote about and the joking she was doing with Nickey...

far more beautiful places

by Andrea
July 1, 2013

After my last post, "another small victory for love", one of our readers (and a close personal friend) told me that she didn't want to stop reading it, that she didn't want it to end. She wanted to read more about my own process of letting go. "Another small victory for love" was about the letting go that I witnessed in my mother as my mother aged, and the softening and sweetening that emerged as she let go of her need to control her life (and the lives of others!). I realized that my friend...

when the table turns: old age

by Judy
June 23, 2013 

I recently came across a quote by the late poet May Sarton about old age. It read: “The trouble is, old age is not interesting until one gets there. It’s a foreign country with an unknown language to the young and even to the middle-aged.”

I find this quote so strikingly true. Of course even the concept of “when one is old” has changed so much. Not that long ago, someone in their sixties or seventies would be considered very old and certainly depending upon who is looking, one still...

another small victory for love

by Andrea
June 19, 2013

Letting go of control is a big topic of conversation amongst so many of us who are striving to live a more balanced and conscious life. We live in a world with so much going on, so much change, and so much uncertainty, that letting go of control may not only become a requirement in order for us to stay sane and grow, but we might find that it’s one of the hardest demands confronting us. 

This is easy to understand. We have spent our whole lives establishing the controls that we live by. The structure of our daily lives, the agreements...

looking back ...whenthetableturns

by Judy 
June 12, 2013 

Yesterday was a year since my mom had a stroke. Dates like that stick in your consciousness. For awhile, it was very intense. It was like an earthquake that shook my mom’s whole being – months when she could not settle down – not sleeping through the night and in a lot of agitation, physically and emotionally. For me also there was the fast learning curve about strokes, rehabilitation centers, endless contacts with occupational, physical and speech therapists and all the ups and downs one inevitably goes...

seeing beyond filters

by Andrea
June 7, 2013

What does it mean to really see each other? To see not just the surface of who we are, but to see more deeply into the interior of who we truly are? And what does this mean when it comes to our elderly and loved ones with memory loss? To see beyond the cultural filter of ageism? The question of who we are has interested me since as long as I can remember. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? I feel these are truly important questions if we want to live a full and deep life. I’m not talking about a self-centered narcissism, but rather a...

by Judy
June 1, 2013

I recently re-read “Fireweed” a political autobiography by the late Dr. Gerda Lerner, who was a pioneer in women’s history. She was also a courageous woman, a refugee from Nazi Austria who in her life and writings “fought” discrimination and fascism in all its forms. At the end of the book, she writes; “We know we must die; we know the world is bad; we know we are corruptible, and yet we act as if it were not so. And as we act, we actually are in the process of changing ourselves and those around us. We are making a future.”

power of touch

by Andrea
May 27, 2013

Some say that touch is the most powerful of all the senses. I’m not sure if that’s always true, but it probably depends on the context. Our senses seem to work together in concert, and certain senses come to the fore depending on what is needed. As I reflect on my elderly mother and one of my sisters who has Alzheimer’s, I am aware of how important the sense of touch has become in my relationship with each of them. It seems that touching in whatever form, whether it is holding hands, combing hair, stroking the forehead, rubbing the back—when...

striving to take in the whole picture/when the table turns

by Judy
May 23, 2013 

At one time in my life I was a Buddhist practitioner and loved hearing stories about the Buddha, the fully enlightened one. One of the stories I loved hearing was how the Buddha taught his students by what is called skillful means which meant that he would use different practices and techniques for different students depending upon their temperament, background and particular weaknesses. I thought of that recently after reading...