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when the table turns: unadulteraed humor

by Judy
March 30, 2015

I often come back to certain themes, cycling and recycling around them and seeing how they evolve. This time it’s about who we are or who we think we are. In seeing how much my mother has changed, I wonder how much she actually remembers who she was or who she thought she was. I think about how each one of us has our narratives; our stories that we carry about ourselves. Some of that narrative is true, some is based on what people tell us about ourselves and what we choose to remember or hold onto and some is a fabrication or an elaboration of...

alzheimer's and a rocky week of dreams, by Andrea. Photo credit: Relativity, by M. C. Escher, 1953

by Andrea
March 25, 2015

It’s been a rocky week of dreams, the kind that you can’t shake for days. Even as the details fade, a heaviness lingers. In one dream, I was driving in NYC and got lost. After some time I found a parking garage, hopefully a respite from the confusion. I pulled in, but there was no respite. The parking garage was impossible to navigate. It was like trying to navigate Escher's stairwell. Nothing made sense. I parked the car and got out to search for my bearings—only to find that I could not find my way back to my car. Things went from bad to...

by Judy
March 16, 2015

My mother was always very artistic. She loved beauty and creating beauty. When we were growing up, she went back to school and became an interior decorator. This love for beauty and creativity came in various forms…beauty in the home, flower arrangements, creating rock gardens…dressing beautifully. She also encouraged her children to be creative. For myself, it mainly came out in doing cards for special occasions, dancing or maybe writing a poem, but she was always very enthusiastic about anything we children might create.


when the table turns: through what lens am I looking

by Judy
March 2, 2015

I find myself returning quite frequently to recurring themes. One that ever draws my attention is the varying views that one has on any particular situation. As human beings we have the gift of consciousness, awareness; cognition – different levels of perception that widen and expand our life. The question is from what angle or perspective does one look at anything? Where do we focus our lens? 

For example sitting on my mom’s terrace, I first look at the plants in front of me or more specifically the white orchids. I zero in on the flower...

blog post by Andrea Hurley. Real or unreal: finding magic in the happiness of a dream

by Andrea
February 22, 2015

One of my sisters left me a message yesterday. “Hi it's Carolyn—it’s 5:30pm and I just got off the phone with mom. I want to tell you about our talk. Call me when you get this message.” She sounded urgent but not worried. I called immediately, and got her voicemail. I waited a minute and called again. This time she answered. And so began our conversation about the talk she had with our mother. I listened, somewhat braced but with full alert. With a 97 year old mother, you have to be ready for anything.

“I just talked with mom, and she...

when the table turns: why I write

by Judy
February 16, 2015

After the last essay I wrote I was thinking again about writing and why it’s become such an essential part of my life now as a caregiver, a woman and as a human being.

Just like Anne Lindbergh’s beautiful little book, "A Gift from the Sea,” I feel that writing always brings me closer to my self and in many ways brings me to a bigger Self, one that I did not even know was there until I start writing, reflecting and going deeper. It feels like if I did not write, I would miss out on so much of me, but not only me, but a whole world of...

Awakening the caregiver instinct, essay by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
February 9, 2015

The concept of being a caregiver is not one that I have necessarily thought much about for most of my life. And even now, I don’t go around thinking I’m a caregiver. When Judy and I started to write this blog, it was not intended to be about caregiving. We were simply reflecting on a deeper experience of care that was awakening within us in relationship to our elderly mothers. We were very interested in and curious about this particular care. Over time, the caregivers were responding. We seemed to be pulling on a deeper...

"islands in a common sea" essay by Judy Fox

by Judy
February 2, 2015

I woke up early this morning. Scared. It always passes with the morning sunlight, doesn’t happen very often, but at the same time it’s not an unfamiliar experience. I am scared as if I’m a little girl again, afraid of the dark, or afraid of being alone - afraid of death. I’m scared of something I can’t even name. In that state of mind, being “alone” feels scary and then when the morning comes, it’s all seen in a different light.

They say we are born and die alone. Well, I don’t know about the birth part as most of us don’t remember our...

to everything there is a season, blog post by Judy Fox

by Judy
January 19, 2015

I’ve been thinking lately how we really do change with the passing of time; that independent from whatever our religion or spiritual leanings are or whatever work we have done to transform, that the passing of time and aging do have an effect upon us, ideally leading to more maturity. And when that aging with more maturity comes will definitely vary from person to person and culture to culture. We in the United States are a “young” culture so the maturing process may be more evident later in years than other cultures or other...

heart-shaped memories by Joan Berland

by guest, Joan Berland
January 15, 2015

As part of our caregiver’s circle, a few participants have been drawn to write about their caregiving experience. This essay was written by participant, Joan Berland, who wrote about her 90 year old mother, Jean, after hearing the news that she would now be under the care of hospice. This is a turning point for all who are caring for their loved ones; a very raw and poignant time. We are honored to share Joan's story with you. ~ Judy and Andrea