I knew I was in a world of trouble when I flew up to visit my elderly mother who lived 700 miles away. I was a Case Manager in Rehabilitation. My job involved coordinating care for people with various disabilities and I noticed changes in Mom that sent up all the red flags. I was an only child. What was I going to do? I had a job and career 700 miles away. . .
I was 32 when my father died after a long struggle with cancer. Because he was ill for so long we had time to spend together saying what needed to be said. In essence, we grieved his death together. After he was gone I missed him terribly but my attention turned to meeting the needs of my mother and helping her adjust to life as a widow. When she died suddenly 11 years later I was totally unprepared for the devastating sense of loss I experienced. It wasn’t that I loved my mother more than I loved my dad. It was because it suddenly hit me that I was no longer anyone’s daughter. I was an orphan. (more…)
Last week I saw a great show by a 60s and 70s tribute rock and roll group called “Phil Dirt and the Dozers.” They were a talented bunch of guys who played multiple instruments and could sing everything from the Beach Boys to the blues. Like most of the members of the audience I knew every word so I was singing along and dancing in my seat. One couple even jumped up to twist. Were we having such a good time because of simple nostalgia? Research says it’s much more complex than that. (more…)