Tag: aging parents


When I first laid eyes on Joseph Zupnik three and a half years ago, he was late for the Family Council meeting at my mother’s nursing home, Focus Otsego. “LATE!” I jotted into my little notebook. Not a good first impression. He walked in… Continue Reading “Guilty”

Sitting in the Ashes

A friend sent Bud a text Sunday evening that said, “Tell Sally that I’m sorry I couldn’t stay to chat. I don’t think crying counts as chatting.” She and I have done that dance before — asking how things are going and then watching… Continue Reading “Sitting in the Ashes”

Buried Gold

It’s been a rough few days… make that weeks. My father has been struggling with anxiety. Anxiety and dementia go hand-in-hand. The world doesn’t make sense. Memories jumble around. People telescope in and out. Switchbacks define the landscape. “DON’T GO THROUGH THAT DOOR!” he… Continue Reading “Buried Gold”

While I Was Away

I can still see the woman’s face as she said the words to me. She started off saying, “It’s such a good thing you’re doing — keeping your father home.”┬áBut then she stopped smiling and looked me in the eye, “You can’t do this… Continue Reading “While I Was Away”

Flowers and Weeds

Monday was not a great day. I had taken my father to meet with his brother. It was great to see my uncle and my cousin. While my father was so happy to see his brother, I was struck by my father’s struggle to… Continue Reading “Flowers and Weeds”

Goals, objectives, strategies, outputs, and outcomes

~~ ONLY ONE GOAL ~~ The other night at dinner one of my children was talking about his goals. My daughter-in-law asked, “Are you talking about goals, objectives, strategies, outputs, or outcomes? They’re all different, you know.” I messaged her this morning to ask… Continue Reading “Goals, objectives, strategies, outputs, and outcomes”

The Perfect Job

“Do you ever think about what it would be like if things were different?” my husband asked yesterday. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Like, what if the job in Hershey had worked out,” he said. Ah, yes, the job in Hershey. In 2005,… Continue Reading “The Perfect Job”


That little pat on the back that I was giving myself was premature. Way premature. I had gone to the gym this morning to work out. I love working out. Love it, love it, love it. I wish I could get there every day.… Continue Reading “Premature”

V is for Vague and Vivid

Last night at dinner I asked my father to tell me the turtle story again. I had been a little surprised that my sister had never heard the story and wanted to make sure that I hadn’t imagined the whole thing. “Do you remember… Continue Reading “V is for Vague and Vivid”

J is for Jumble

My father was always an orderly man. His ties were hung neatly on tie racks in his closet, his business affairs neatly filed in folders, his expenses written in neat columns in ledgers. His photographs are labeled, his stamp and coin collections catalogued. One… Continue Reading “J is for Jumble”