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when the table turns: gratitude

by Judy
May 25, 2015

Thinking about what we might call the status quo, when there does not seem to be any change one way or another - perhaps small changes but nothing that big - and how often we can start to take this for granted. I am thinking in this case in relationship to living and helping to care for my elderly mother. Yes, there are moments that are difficult, but on the whole it's been pretty even. Yes, my mom is getting less engaged in general; yes, there are times like yesterday when it is difficult – no food pleases her and she “blames” it on us and does...

by Judy
May 11, 2015

I am presently in the middle of reading David Brooks' latest book called, “The Road to Character.” It's very inspiring. Brooks speaks about what we value in our life and differentiates between what he calls “resume” virtues and “eulogy” virtues. For example, at the end of someone’s life, what do we value about that person? Is it what they accomplished in terms of career, status or fame (resume virtues) or is it much more to do with their character, their qualities of kindness, goodness, integrity; what kind of relationships they formed? (eulogy...

by Judy
April 26, 2015

Although I don’t have any grand statements to make, I do want to give words to and honor my mom’s 99th birthday that happened just a few days ago. To be sure, it does feel like quite a milestone that she has reached this age after having a stroke almost three years ago. Since surviving the stroke, her level of engagement has gotten less and less and even a year ago, my mother felt she was imminently leaving this world. It shows yet again that we just don’t know…we don’t know when the “hand of our maker” is taking us from this earthly...

by Judy
April 12, 2015

There is a power in communion. Yes, when I write, so much gets revealed, but there is a particular power in communion, in sharing together, in being transparent about our experience in relationship to caregiving, to life, death, aging…to Alzheimer’s. Our transparency touches the other whether it fits our own experience or not, still it resonates and that has an effect way beyond what we could imagine.

Today there were only three of us in our Caregiver’s Virtual Circle; Andrea, myself and one other woman, and we went deeper into each person...

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...

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...

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...

"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...