Category: elderly

What Will You Bleed?

The patterns for our personalities are set early on. My friend, Susan, used to talk about someone she knew who, in the delirium of a high fever, mumbled out Bible verse after Bible verse. When she had been poked, she bled the Bible. “I… Continue Reading “What Will You Bleed?”


I sleep with one ear open. Owen told me about Krista Tippett and her podcast, On Being. The other day I was listening to an episode called, “Silence and the Presence of Everything.”  Gordon Hempton, her guest for that episode, said, … sight is such… Continue Reading “Earlids”

Four Questions

This post was originally written in April 2011 when my mother was still alive and still at home.  Question #1 I asked my mother one day,  “Mom, do you know what Alzheimer’s is?” She knew.  “It’s a condition where people can’t think sensibly,” she… Continue Reading “Four Questions”

10 Things To Do When Visiting an Elderly Person

I ran into someone who has been promising to visit my father. When I saw her at the Post Office and she asked, “What can we do to help you and your father?” my answer was easy. Visit him. I was telling Mary about… Continue Reading “10 Things To Do When Visiting an Elderly Person”

The Grandmother’s New Pants

A friend who is helping care for an elderly relative told me about one evening when she went to visit her aunt and she found her wearing no pants.  It reminded me of a poem I had written when my mother did something similar. Here’s my… Continue Reading “The Grandmother’s New Pants”


The word prompt was “graceful.” I debated about using photos of my children in sports. Swimming, tennis, soccer, and diving all have their graceful moments. I also have little ballerina pictures. Ballerinas are the embodiment of grace. But I knew immediately which photo spoke grace… Continue Reading “Graceful”

House Beautiful

Whenever I drive my father anywhere, he comments on the houses we pass. “Those are some well-kept houses,” he says, especially in the summer when the yards are groomed and flowers are blooming. Somewhere along the line maintaining his house became too much. My… Continue Reading “House Beautiful”


Below is a(nother) dusted-off post from 2011. In 2011 my mother was still alive and living at home. She clearly had dementia and her body was slowly failing on her.  My father was her main care-provider, but that summer was hard on him, too.… Continue Reading “Incapable”


I found a little notebook that my mother probably kept in her purse in the mid-to-late-1980s. The notes inside cover a huge span of topics: She even wrote a cheat sheet for my husband’s siblings. He has eight brothers and four sisters, so she wrote… Continue Reading “Misunderstood”

At the Post Office

I stood in a very long line at the Post Office yesterday. Post Office line definitions for a small town: No line = go directly to the counter Brief wait = someone already at the counter Line = someone waiting, someone at the counter… Continue Reading “At the Post Office”