Furry Family Members

The animals we love

I am from Houston and have many friends and family there so I’ve been glued to news reports about Hurricane Harvey.  Many pictures show people wading through waist-deep water clutching their pets. I saw one woman floating with her poodle on an air mattress and a man carrying his large dog across his shoulders.  I was so relieved to see the valiant rescuers making room in their boats and trucks for the animals.  Those of us who love our pets consider them family members.  I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it would be to have to leave them behind. (more…)

Celebrating Mother’s Day Anna’s Way

I was standing in a checkout line when I heard a man talking loudly on his cell phone. “Remind me never to come shopping with my mother again!” he was complaining to his hapless listener. I looked around and saw the elderly woman who was the subject of his diatribe. She was moving slowly and dawdling over her selections as he stood scowling and impatiently tapping his foot. I felt a rush of compassion for her and hoped she hadn’t heard his boorish comments. I wondered what he had to do that was so important and thought how much I would give to have the chance to go shopping with my mother again. (more…)

Downsizing

Letting go of our stuff

This dreary January day finds me in Houston helping a long-time friend complete her move to a smaller home. Sally is downsizing because she recently had to move her husband, ravaged by the effects of dementia for several years, to a safer environment. It has been a difficult transition for her not only because she is adjusting to living alone again but also because she has had to shed so many possessions. (more…)

Remembering Dad

My father was tougher than nails and rarely sick before lymphoma took over.  He fought it for a long time but the cancer inevitably won.  We lived 200 miles from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and made many trips there while he was undergoing treatment.  On one trip it was just Dad and I driving home from Houston.  It was a moonless night with only the glow of the dash lights to relieve the darkness.  Alone in our little cocoon he started to talk.  He told me stories I’d never heard before and so many pieces of the mystery that was Dad fell into place. I would have given anything for an audio recorder but this was years before cell phones or digital recorders so I paid close attention to capture his voice in my memory.  This is my favorite of the stories he told and the one I think best illustrates Dad’s optimistic character. (more…)

The Living Legacy Project

A guest post by Tom Cormier

In a 2012 survey conducted by the Allianz Academy of Legacies, Baby Boomers were asked to rank their priorities when it comes to passing down an inheritance.This demographic ranked passing down family history and stories as far more important than leaving financial assets to heirs. Why then have so few people made provisions for this in their will or estate plan?
(more…)