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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...

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...

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...

breaking the unspoken rule, blog post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
June 29, 2014

One of the pleasures in getting to know my mother as an elderly person is the discovery of how she has changed, softened and become more receptive in her senior years. Sometimes she even seems like a new person to me—or that she is the same person and a new person all at the same time. 

I've had to come close to see some of the more subtle changes. My feeling is that if we don’t come close and spend time with a degree of openness in our hearts, we may never see or know who our elderly loved ones are becoming and how they may have changed...

whole body listening: a blog post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
June 8, 2014

Sometimes I struggle with writers block. When I do, I feel disconnected and empty. And when I try to force something to come, I become like a rebellious child. Refusal. Stubborn refusal. Seems there is nothing I can do about it, with nothing interesting to say, so why bother? Oy. What an attitude! So this morning I have taken myself to a nearby cafe, which is bustling with conversation, spurting with the steamy sound of the the espresso machine, laced with the high pitch voices of playful children—all of this weaving seamlessly with the barely...

when you have dreams, blog post by Andrea Hurley: painting by Rita Hurley

by Andrea
May 20, 2014

My relationship with my elderly mother has become a metaphor for my life. It truly has. Several years ago I made an important decision. I decided that I wanted no regrets about my life. As I looked at my life through the rear view mirror, I saw a lot that I could be regretful about—plenty of missed opportunities and wrong turns. And yet somewhere inside I knew it was possible to live a life of no regrets, even with an imperfect past. But how does one do that? How does one live a life of no regrets? 

It was...

another kind of table turning: essay by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
May 4, 2014

A few days ago I was speaking with Judy, sharing with her about the family party my husband and I hosted last weekend. Well, it was not just a party—it was a remarriage celebration. Our own. After 20 years apart, my former husband and I remarried, and last Saturday we brought both of our very large families together to celebrate. Judy said, “Andrea, write a post about this!” I thought, “Really? But this has nothing to do with what we share on our blog.” She said, “But it’s another kind of table turning.” And so I reflected…

What is a table turning...

where do we go from here? Essay by Andrea Hurley

By Andrea
April 10, 2014

Judy and I have been writing this blog for over a year and a half. Along the way, I have hit junctures where certain questions arise: Where do we go from here? Are we on track? What is our track anyway?

I am in one of those junctures again now, asking, what next? Judy and I have written almost 100 essayspublished our first e-Book [PDF], and have had a ...

selfish, i know: an essay by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
March 24, 2014

Recently when I was leaving my mother’s place, an assisted living community in the Boston area, I ran into T, the van driver for the residents. A kind and engaging man whom everyone loves, T is incredibly fond of my mother and always asks about her. This time he told me how much I look like her. Even though few others say this to me, I appreciate that he sees a similarity between us—something I’ll have with me forever. He then asked about her age, her memory and her health. We chatted about these things for a few minutes, about my mother’s recent...

a toast to life and to love: a post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
February 23, 2014

Every year on my mother’s birthday an ever growing family comes together to celebrate. Rarely does anyone miss this event, especially as my mother has become elderly. This celebration becomes more poignant every year, both because of the significance of a life on this planet for almost 100 years, and also because of an undercurrent of tension in all of our hearts, a question that goes unspoken: will this be the last? 

As I write these unspoken words, part of me wants to hit the back key, and erase that question from this post. As if erasing it...