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a beautiful tapestry - blog post by andrea hurley

by Andrea
September 14, 2014

Imagine coming together with others to explore and share experiences that are very close to your heart, experiences that you may feel very alone in or even at times trapped by. Experiences that, out of necessity, you may have had to push aside, possibly even forgotten... Imagine listening to the stories of others, listening so deeply and respectfully that something new starts to wake up inside of you. Imagine your own buried experiences coming out of the shadows, and the veil of your protected inner world falling away. 

I don’t know...

by Judy
September 15, 2014

I have been reflecting on memory lately as I watch my mother’s memory fade. She is 98 years old, doesn’t have Alzheimer’s disease, but for certain her memory is getting worse. The other day when she could not remember what she had just eaten, she started to moan. When I asked her what the matter was, she said, “My memory is getting so bad.” That was the first time that I remember her expressing pain about her faulty memory. As I responded, I expressed to her that probably what she eats is not very important to her anymore. She doesn’t see,...

living close to death

by Judy
September 1, 2014

We human beings live not just in the moment. Our consciousness can roam to all different time periods – back into the past, recent and far, and into the future or imagined future. Inevitably as I live so close to my aged mother, my mind will wander into the time when she is no longer. I don’t do it very often or with a lot of detail, but it comes up and sometimes in a strange way. Like I might be traveling in a taxi from the airport to my mom's home and think of what it will be like to be doing this when she is not here anymore - the same...

by Judy
August 18, 2014

In the late afternoon when the light is softening and the sun is saying its final goodbyes, I am lying on the big bed next to my mom while she sleeps, dreams or quietly thinks. And as I work on my I pad lazily going in all directions of interest, I notice how very peaceful it is. This is actually my experience almost every afternoon. What is going on? It’s like when a lot of the activity of the day is over - activity of eating, washing, doing chores – all that is finished - and now Mom and I can just be together…hang out. Mom knows I am here if...

Dear friends, 

As part of our interest in a new narrative in aging and elder-care, "When the Table Turns" is hosting a new forum to bring some of the topics written about in these blogs to public dialogue. These forums, called "Caregiver's Circles", are monthly gatherings (one virtual by conference call, and the other in-person for people in the Boston area). The purpose of these gatherings is to create an open field where we can explore important  and sometimes difficult questions, and hopefully leave at the end of the call or meeting with greater understanding and a lighter heart...

by Judy
August 4, 2014

We are so effected by each other; how and who we are is passed on from generation to generation; from families, friends and strangers; from all the actions inherited from the past and all that is expressed through the written word, and through the other mediums of expression. We often don’t realize how influenced we are. How could we? I am thinking particularly of that which is good; which inspires, which uplifts, which sets new narratives for what is possible. Some influences are obvious but others are quieter, more subtle and even hidden.

summer of gratitude, blog post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea | July 28, 2014

This writing is an excerpt I wrote for a forthcoming book to be released this fall (2014) by Mary Beth Sammons. Upon discovering WhenTheTableTurns.com, Mary Beth asked Judy and me to each write a chapter for her book. This is what I wrote. It is longer than my usual essays, but I hope you will read to the end. In this story I was finally able to articulate an extremely difficult experience, which took place on July 28, 2011, exactly three years ago today. This experience has...

by Judy
July 21, 2014

Over the past five years in helping to care for my 98 year old mom, I’ve noticed that dramatic change often comes unexpectedly. No doubt there are signs that “foretell” at times this change, but they are not always visible. For example, when my mom had a stroke, there didn’t seem to be any indications beforehand, but of course she did have mini-strokes about three years before this happened and she was 96 years old with aging arteries. From one moment to another, her life radically changed. She went from walking with some aid, still going out to...

a case of amnesia, a blog post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
July 15, 2014

Sitting by the lake this morning at 7:00am. The stillness seems to pervade every cell in my body. Barely a ripple in the water. I could stay like this forever, without a desire to go anywhere ever again, mesmerized by a timeless window into eternity. A pair of ducks pass by while a few curious fish gather close by just below the surface. In moments like this the lake and its inhabitants are all mine. Here I sit, blessed by the good life. And then… off in the distance a low rumbling murmur begins. It gets louder and louder...

by Judy
July 7, 2014

Recently I read a beautiful essay by Rachel Macy Stafford, a mother of a six year old, who was constantly telling her child to “hurry up.” She describes her daughter as “a laid-back, carefree, stop-and-smell-the roses type of child” and herself as a type A woman who was constantly on the go. At some point she realized what a detriment it was not to honor her child’s world and vowed never to use the phrase, “hurry up” again and to consciously slow down and let her daughter metaphorically “smell the roses.”

In reading this essay...