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early morning tea, blog post by Andrea Hurley

by Andrea
October 19, 2014

Many mornings I wake up early and take a good amount of time to sit quietly with a cup of tea. Sometimes my dog will curl up next to me on the couch, and during this time I make every effort to make no effort at all. This means I make every effort to not allow myself to get wound up in the whirlwind of my mind and the never ending to-do list that is waiting to scoop me into it's agenda for the day. It’s a super quiet time, like a sanctuary. I love this place of being super quiet and still, even if it means letting my tea go cold. In that...

my caring mom, essay by Judy Fox

by Judy
October 13, 2014

This morning a simple exchange between my mom and I. I thought she was sleeping and just gave her a kiss on her hand. She looked so peaceful. As I was leaving, she said, “Judy,” and I came over to her. She asked me how I had slept last night and then I asked her. Just a simple exchange that often, but not always happens in the morning. It was right before I went downstairs to go for a swim and I was left with this overwhelming feeling about my mom's care which has been like a golden strand running through my life. I thought...

When the table turns: why do I write?

by Judy
September 29, 2014

It is now two years since Andrea and I started this blog site of When the Table Turns. Since then I’ve been writing almost every two weeks. It’s been a powerful commitment. A lifeline really. Why do I write? Why, as a caregiver, has writing this blog become so important?

In contemplating this I thought of something I read after Nora Ephron died a few years ago. She grew up in a household of writers—both her mother and father—and apparently they steered all the children towards writing from a very young age. The mother said, “...

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...