#WATWB: Restaurant of Order Mistakes

Most of you know that I lost my mother in February to the complications of age and dementia. Dementia is a disease that I witnessed firsthand and one that had me always looking for the bright spots as mom’s memory and health declined. So, it’s no surprise that the following story captured my complete attention and heart. It comes from Tokyo, Japan. The story is from 2017, but its premise is completely positive for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. “TheRead more

Go Help Yourself

It’s been forty-two years since I first met Mr. and Mrs. B. I will never forget that day. The former husband and I were dating and he took me to meet his childhood buddy and wife. Being just 19, still somewhat naive, and brought up by conservative parents who believed in manners, I was about to encounter a bit of a shock. As we drove down a long, gravel driveway, this black dog came bounding to meet us, tail wagging,Read more

Gravy Goes With Everything

My earliest memory of Pauline was of her standing on top of a chair, screaming as a mouse ran across the floor. This would not have been the usual, stoic, keep-it-together mom that was obvious to me later in life. I do not remember other episodes of this woman being hysterical, losing it to furry critters or when life was a bit topsy-turvey. I seldom saw my mother sweat, but perhaps growing up the youngest girl in a family ofRead more

Processing 16 Years

Over coffee on Saturday morning, a friend asked me, “How are you processing?” She was asking about moving forward from my mother’s passing in February. A number of friends have asked this question in various formats, with concern in how I’m handling a new chapter of life. It’s a question that’s contemplative in response, at times difficult and at times easy to put into words, but I will try to answer. This is more than about mom, it’s a journeyRead more

The Working Girl’s Purse

The last “mom” post was in August, when she turned 99. Not much has happened since, other than she keeps eating, drinking coffee and taking lots of naps. She’s having a hard time holding her head up as this is one of the effects of dementia – her brain is forgetting to tell her body what to do. When I visit, I never know if she is going to be alert or have a sleepy day. The most recent visitRead more

She’s Ninety Freakin’ Nine!

That’s what Natasha exclaimed on Saturday morning. We were talking about mom. Monday, August 6th, is Pauline’s birthday. She will be 99 years old. Ninety Freakin’ Nine. Although mom’s health might be considered “poor,” the fact that she is still on the planet is amazing to me. My cute, little energizer bunny has outlived her husband, all of her siblings, all of her friends, and most people who were born in the year 1919. She has lived to this dayRead more

Going Off Track

Have you ever had an image, idea or train of thought veer completely off track? Never to be heard from again? The older I become and the greater the stress at work and in life, the more I derail off the focused track. Not to say that the totality of my thoughts haven’t survived, but there are bits here and there of, “OMG, where did I put that piece of paper? What is that girl’s name? What was I doing?Read more

Violated by Age

I was violated last week. Rather, the credit card issued to me by my employer was violated. The fraud unit called Friday and left a message. I returned the call Monday morning. The woman on the other line asked a few questions. To verify it was me. Then she asked a few more questions about the charges. Did you purchase a metal detector? “Yes.” Did you make a purchase on Vaping.com? “No.” (I’m concerned that a hookah may have beenRead more

Who Can You Trust?

Monday afternoon was quite manic at work. Too much going on, all at once. The day started out great, with sunshine and a meeting of peers to discuss how we can make work life better for ourselves and fellow employees…short of retirement or having the winning lottery ticket or adding a wine bar in every office. We had a great discussion and came up with a few notable ideas. Then I drove back to my office and it kind ofRead more

Her Hands

  “God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” ~Billy Graham~ Long, slender fingers Touched by the passing of ninety-eight years And the slight wrinkle of a Shar-Pei Daughter squeezes memories of her childhood Of wars, depressions and political elections Of marriage, babies and Catholic faith A fleshy grip that once held adult refreshment Now holds a warming cup of thickened brown The digits shake dinner’s fork and spoon And point toRead more

SoCS: This Door

This door I walk through every week It is her petite figure I seek Sleeping in a brown broda chair Wrinkly forehead under gray hair I say, “Hello, mom, how are you?” She says, “Who are you?” I tell her my name is Mary but she seems a bit wary It goes back and forth most days This unknowing haze Am I sister or daughter? Is it March or October? This door leads to Pauline The Energizer Bunny machine StillRead more

A Letter to Charlie

Dear Charlie, It’s hard, isn’t it? I saw you wipe away the tears today and it broke my heart. I wanted to get up from my chair and give you a hug…but I barely know you. Instead, I remained silent and still. Your wife, Margie, has aphasia and it must be so difficult when you don’t understand her. She has attempted to “talk” to me several times, usually with a smile, and I simply nod and smile back. I haveRead more