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by Andrea Hurley: a new narrative

by Andrea
April 1, 2013

What is the narrative of our life? What story can we tell at the end of the day? End of the year? End of our lifetime? Stories matter partly because they can outlive us. They hold meaning and value that can travel from generation to generation. Stories also matter because they can influence and change us right now. Some stories uplift the human spirit, and others crush it.

A big part of the reason Judy and I are writing this blog is to tell a story about aging from a particular point of view. It’s a view that I feel is very positive. It...

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...

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...

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...

growing through relationship

by Andrea
February 4, 2013

Since my last post, content to just be, I've been thinking more about the relationship between our own fear of aging and the sad reality that elderly people are too often left uncared for in our culture. When Judy and I started this blog site, I sent it to someone I respect very much. I wanted her review. Her response hit the mark, especially this paragraph...

"...My husband's father just turned 90...

content to just be

by Andrea
January 28, 2013

In a recent conversation I was having with someone, I was sharing my experience of writing this blog, its purpose and meaning in my life. I found myself saying things that I didn't even realize I knew. That happens a lot when speaking with someone who is truly interested. They pull things out of you that you don't realize are even inside. Once out, it's like you always knew it—but not until that moment. 

Blogging is like that too. In...

natural dignity

by Andrea
January 21, 2013

My mother will be turning 95 this week, and while this is not something that she feels excited about, for me there is a quiet celebration brewing within. It is not only that she has made it to 95which is a big deal in itselfbut that she is living it with dignity. This is the real cause for celebration. Especially in light of the fact that a few years ago, her dignity seemed to...

becoming a united front

by Andrea
January 7, 2013

As this blog site unfolds, and the deeper Judy and I get into it, I find myself taking a step back to look again at its purpose. Why are we doing this blog site? Who are our readers? Why are we reaching out? Why is this important? 

My initial reason for wanting to write this blog was in response to the table turning in relationship with my aging mother—and the psychological and emotional challenges that I and so many of us face as our...

Winter light in Sweden

by Andrea
December 25, 2012

Today is Christmas Day and I am writing from above the Arctic Circle. Yes, true. I am visiting Gällivare, Sweden to celebrate the holidays with the family of my daughter's boyfriend. Swedish style holidays - with short days and long nights. The days are filled with the light of dawn for only about 5 hours. The sun never makes it above the horizon before that beautiful dawn light disappears into darkness. With an average temperature of -30C, pristine white snow blankets the area with...

essay by Andrea: when the window opens

by Andrea
December 6, 2012

Caring for my mother has brought unexpected lessons and insights into my life. Some of the most valuable and beautiful discoveries came through the necessity of slowing down. In that slowing down, it's like a window opened up into another world. Before that window opened, there were all sorts of anxieties and fears to do with my mother's aging and how to best care for her. But after the window opened, something changed. The anxieties and fears did not go away, but they moved far into the background. 

How do we slow down when there's so...