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where did that barrier go?

by Andrea
August 15, 2013

I was speaking with a new friend/colleague yesterday. He is someone who works in the field of Dementia and Alzheimer’s research, and who reached out to me recently to redesign his organization’s website (which is what I do for work). Whenever we get together for our meetings, we often share a little about what’s happening in our lives. Almost immediately we are in a conversation that we never could have predicted, the depth and subtlety of which is always a surprise. He quickly sees...

adirondack dawn

by Andrea | July, 2013

Early mornings in the Adirondacks are like nothing else. Every morning is different, yet consistently offering an orchestra of birds, dominated by ravens—not always so sweet sounding, but nonetheless a part of the orchestra. As the sky lightens and the birds fade into the background, the wind picks up, sifting through the sky-scraping poplar and pine trees, delivering a sound so soothing to the soul, like an ancient call from a timeless past. 

The month has flown by. I barely know where the time has gone. My mother and I arrived here at Lake George 4...

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...

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...

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...

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...

by Andrea Hurley:  a pure love, but not an easy path

by Andrea
May 8, 2013

In my last post, listening between the words, I shared some of my experiences with my mother, my daughter and my sister, and how when we listen very closely it's as if we're listening between the words. Sometimes with my mother if I didn't listen this way, I'd probably feel boxed in to a world which has gotten small. But by listening in this other way, I never feel boxed in. Even though my mother does not have the same repertoire of experiences to share with me, it doesn't matter. What does...

listening between the words

by Andrea
April 29, 2013

I was moved by Judy's last essay, "could I have done more?" It is a question that is on my mind a lot. It's probably on a lot of our minds. In a way her essay touched the essence of why I wanted to create this blog—to reach more deeply into my heart and experience, to understand and give voice to this impulse that wants to leave no stone unturned, no words left unsaid, and to open up this conversation with Judy and others who share this similar life circumstance with elderly parents (or others...

Mom and Ali at the Town Diner, March 23, 2013

by Andrea
April 20, 2013

It is difficult to write this week without acknowledging the agony that has gripped the heart of Boston after the Marathon bombing last Monday. As a native Bostonian myself, it all felt so surreal, painful and confusing. As I watched local news when law enforcement was honing in on the second suspect, I saw in the background the Town Diner where I sometimes take my mother for lunch (photo above is my mother and daughter at the diner). The final drama in Boston took place not far from where my mother lives, only 5 miles away. I thought of her,...

my mom - too sweet

by Andrea
April 11, 2013

My mother moved into an assisted living community last November. If you have been following this blog, you will know that I fought like crazy to prevent this. I did everything possible to keep her at home, where she wanted to be and where I felt was the most natural place for her to live her remaining years. The idea of assisted living frightened me. I had all sorts of ideas that my mother might never adapt, that she might feel betrayed by her family because we moved her away from her home. My mother had become so fragile, that I didn’t know if...