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aging as a natural process

by Judy
March 28, 2013 

I recently read “Reflections on Aging” a chapter in the late Dr. Gerda Lerner’s last book Living with History/Making Social Change. Gerda Lerner, the foremost pioneer of women’s history in America, wrote insightfully and poignantly from her own experience about the aging process. This week I would like to give you a few selected passages from her reflection. Interestingly part of what Dr. Lerner expresses about the aging process is applicable to how wisely we maneuver through our life right now whatever our age. She writes without any...

by Judy
March 21 

I feel like I’m peering into the aging process. I’m rubbing up right against it, observing its contours and planes and how the landscape subtly changes. About ten days ago I wrote in my journal:

“Mom is fading. The hard edges have softened even more. She’s merging into pink. That’s who my mom has become – softening shades of pink and white with a dash of red every now and then. When she smiles at me in that simple unadorned way, I always melt. My mom used to have that smile in the morning just at the break of dawn, but recently now it comes...

by Andrea Hurley: in defense of love not luck

By Andrea
March 9, 2013

A couple weeks ago I got together with a close friend, who is a regular reader of this blog. She has been touched by a lot of what she has read, and is very supportive of what Judy and I are doing. But in our conversation she said something that struck me, and even shook me up a bit. She said something like, "Your blog posts are beautiful and powerful and real—and it makes me realize how lucky and privileged you and Judy are. I wonder about all the people out there who are not so lucky, who are not able to spend the kind of time you both do with...

by Judy
March 7, 2013 

Do we ever see our parents objectively? Do we ever see anyone objectively? Do we ever see ourselves objectively? You look at another person and depending upon the angle from which one looks, the view is different. Also we are all changing; the other person is changing; you are changing… what we are looking at and who is doing the looking is all in flux.

We are also all getting older and as I get older, my perspective changes…I step back and don’t focus on the particulars so much, the...

a choice of love

by Judy
February 28, 2013 

Lying in bed early one morning a line came into my head: “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”  I thought: “Where did that come from and what did it mean?” Almost instantly I knew it had to do with the fact that I’m living with my mom almost all the time now in South Florida. Immediately I knew it was true and it surprised me. I wondered why. Had I ever thought that this time with my mom was just an interlude between my “old’ life and “new life, (whatever that means) but some sense of an interlude? Was I waiting in some...

my mother with her youngest grandchild, Luke

by Andrea
February 26, 2013

Writing this blog with Judy encourages both of us to think deeply about important things like giving, growing and the source of true happiness in our elderly mothers. We speak often about these things and inspire each other through what we see and write. I rarely see Judy’s posts before she publishes them, and so I am always surprised and delighted by the freshness of them when I read them. But this last one on "going gentle into...

going gentle into that good night

by Judy
February 21, 2013

The thought came to me the other day that my mom is going gentle into that good night. That expression came to mind in relationship to Dylan Thomas’s famous poem that begins: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rave at the close of the day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” This poem, that I always loved, was actually written for his very sick father, but Dylan himself lived raging in his own way against the dying of the light. He ended up dying at the young age of 39 from hard living and drinking and...

by Judy
February 14, 2013 

It’s Valentine’s Day – a day all about love. Love between husband and wife, between good friends, sisters and brothers, parent and child. What is this love that moves us so deeply? What does it look like? How is it expressed? I asked my 96 year old mother what love is and she said, “It’s a deep feeling of closeness.”  So simple. Then I asked myself, what then is this closeness that evokes so many feelings; feelings of warmth, affection, joy, tenderness and even feelings that are overwhelming at times? I...

When the Table Turns: passing the torch

by Andrea
February 11, 2013

This week on Friday is the 37th Anniversary of my father’s passing, and so I want to write about my father, how his death changed my life, and how he has remained alive in my heart for all these years.

Death is not something that most of us speak about very much. We tend to fear and avoid it. The reason, I believe, is that it is final, and there is no turning back. It is also because we are human, and we become attached to those we love. While I feel very grateful that my mother is alive and healthy...

by Judy
February 7, 2013 

As I delve into writing this blog, I feel in some ways like a detective, a social scientist or perhaps just an acute observer who is studying the whole process of aging. What does it look like, how does it change? It’s not like aging hasn’t been studied before - now more than ever - but however much knowledge is out there, for each one of us, how our family ages and ultimately how we age, has its own distinct qualities. However much we know, we are all still going into new territory. In this way I feel that Andrea...