Family Stories & Blogs
Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO. And on that farm he had a chicken. A greedy ole chicken that hatched a plan to trip Old McDonald and steal his bucket of corn. The chicken’s evil scheme resulted in a broken leg and lengthy stay in rehab for Old McDonald. Lying in his hospital bed, Old McDonald had lots of time to think about the moment his life and corn kernels flashed before his eyes. He realized he could no longer put off completing a will even though it was upsetting to think about his own mortality.
When caring for elderly loved ones, every day you have with them is a blessing, and a surprise. Due to a stroke several years ago, my grandma’s cognitive faculties are there one minute and gone the next.
One night after a family Sunday supper, my two-year-old princess decided to wear her dessert. Not wanting me to steal her away from the pleasures of licking chocolate syrup from the tablecloth, she bolted. She ran into the bedroom and barricaded the door with her chocolate covered body.
After several minutes of negotiations from under the door, my grandma offered her ninety years of experience to my two-year-old dilemma. I explained to grandma that several weeks ago the princess pooped in the tub and thought it was a snake under the water. She is now terrified of baths.
Now deep into my thirties, I find myself caught between two worlds. Every so often, these worlds unite inside a Ford Explorer to run errands. My store hopping entourage is my ninety-year-old grandma and my two-year-old daughter. Contrary to what you might think, they have a lot in common. They both insist they are twenty-five.
In 2011, my life was uprooted in an instant. I remember sitting on the floor of my Brooklyn, New York, apartment, heart pounding, tears flowing, palms sweating, anxiously anticipating a phone call where I hoped to hear two words: "She's OK."
Earlier that morning, my mom, who lived alone, was knocked unconscious after falling in her home in Tampa, Florida. A family friend found her about 12 hours later. While I waited for that phone call, I knew my life would never be the same.
In the Midwest, people don't ask for help.
That's been the experience of Ellen Bennett of the Munroe-Meyer Institute's Respite Across the Lifespan. Read more.
There is a big difference between dish soap and dishwasher detergent. Just ask my dad. He recently confused the two, creating a “t-suds-nami” across the kitchen floor. Dad doubled down when my mom questioned his naiveness to such a basic domestic skill. He confidently fabricated a statement that he was multitasking by doing the dishes and washing the floor all at the same time. Only wood floors don’t really do well soaked with an inch of water.
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