Family & Friends

5 Surprising Things I’ve Learned About My Mother

Let’s face it. The thought of getting older is scary. Being in my sixties feels surreal, especially since I was thirty last week. But there’s one person that always inspires me, leading the way through the dense, thorny thicket of the later years. And that’s my 80-something year old mom, Marilyn. Here are 5 ways … Read more »

Farewell to Susan

I sit with hundreds of other mourners in a light-filled, stained-glass sanctuary. Maybe we’re all thinking the same thing — Susan was taken too soon and too suddenly. But as I listen to the service in that old Connecticut church, I realize six remarkable things… The people in our lives help shape certain eras — I … Read

A Vital (but scary) New Year’s Lesson…

  Sometimes an event happens that stops you in your tracks. It shakes and scares you. This happened to me the day after New Year’s. My husband Randy and I had hosted our second annual New Year’s Day “Basement Jam.” This is a party for musicians and their friends – – guitarists, drummers, bassists, and … Read more »

Gulp…Is It Time to Finally Downsize?

I try not thinking of the d-word. Moving is hard enough without that emotional tug. Picking up stakes will be like leaving part of ourselves behind. Yet it’s undeniable. Our house is quieter these days. One son is gone. The other’s a working adult with a life of his own. He’ll be out before we … Read more »

The 8 Kinds of Girlfriends Everyone Needs (Huffington Post)

(0) Comments| Posted December 16, 2015 | 9:04 AM

Where would we be without our friends? Let’s face it — as we grow older, we need them more than ever. Yes, we love our spouses and family, but there’s something about a girlfriend that helps us see life differently. They open us up and change us for the better….

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Summer of Pineapple and Tuna Fish

Some people don’t believe in aging.  My grandmother was one of them.  I realized this as I stood in the Hyannis Bus Station one afternoon in June of 1974.  I was seventeen, had just graduated high school and grateful my parents had agreed to let me stay with Nana for the summer. Five minutes passed, ten, … Read more »

What Makes an Awesome Dad?

Many times you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I always knew I had a wonderful father. But now that it’s been almost a year since he’s passed, the full impact of what I’ve lost is sinking in. Here are 8 traits he had that I believe go into making a great … Read more »

What Makes an Awesome Mom?

I had lunch with my mother recently.  We laughed.  We kvetched. We became teary-eyed over my recently-deceased father.  We lamented over the world’s problems.  I couldn’t help think what a great mother she’s been all my life.  And that got me thinking.  What makes a great mother?  What are those special qualities?  Is love enough?  Or … Read more »

Saying Goodbye to Dad: 6 Unexpected Thoughts On Hospice

 You walk the halls with other dazed-looking family members and wonder what brought you to this strange facility called hospice. It’s a place of intersections.  On one hand, it’s the world of the living –busy and bustling with plans and schedules.  On the other, it’s the world of the dying, the silent, unknowable spirit world. … Read more »

5 Surprising Things I Felt When my Father Passed Away

You think you know how you’ll feel, but you don’t.  When someone close to you dies, sometimes you react differently than expected, depending on the circumstances.  When my father passed last Sunday, I was ready to feel one way.  But surprisingly, 5 unexpected emotions tugged at me. Happiness for him – My father was released from … Read more »

Helping Mom Help Dad

Anyone who reads this blog knows I write about my Dad… a lot.  He’s always on my mind since he suffers from late-stage Parkinson’s disease.  And yet there’s another person I’m always thinking of, who keeps the machinery of my father’s world moving like clockwork, who’s as necessary, irreplaceable and vital as the sun is to the earth. … Read more »

How to Stay Married Sixty Years

My parents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  I wondered what it’s like going through life with the same person for so long.  The other day I asked their secret.  The answer surprised me. But first, let’s back up.  This story began in 1954 when my 24 year old father stopped to help a middle-aged … Read more »

How To Be a Really Good Daughter

I pick up the electric shaver.  “I don’t want to hurt you,” I say to my Dad.   I’ve never shaved a man before and I’m nervous. My 82 year-old father sits in yet another hospital room, one of many he’s stayed in lately for symptoms of late-stage Parkinson’s disease.  He’s unable to use his hands … Read more

Waving Goodbye (Huffington Post)

(7) Comments| Posted April 13, 2016 | 7:45 AM

On a bright, cloudless day in September 1983 I stood on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth 2, waving goodbye to no one in particular. I was 26-years-old and all around people threw streamers and shouted farewell to loved ones on the Manhattan pier below. Since this was a business…

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A Different Kind of Fourth

I read off today’s headlines as my father sits in a hospital hallway.  Other patients are around us, mostly weary old men and depressed-looking young ones.  Many use walkers. In some rooms, guys perch on the edge of their beds as if they can’t decide whether to rise or not.  Nurses and doctors bustle by … Read more »

My Swedish Grandfather

In this picture I’m about about six months old, flanked by my father and grandfather.  It was taken around 1957. My grandfather was named Sigurd Larson.  My earliest memories are sitting on his lap, playing with his watch.   He was sweet and gentle.  As I got older, my sister and brother and I would giggle … Read more »