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Category: Family Life

Mom’s Decline: Where We Are

I was on the phone with my mom the other day, laughing about my parenting skills while David was away for work. “I’m really good, Mom,” I told her, “really patient and calm, right up until about six o’clock.” She laughed, because she remembers. “But after six?” I continued. “Nope, I’m done. That’s when the shutters get closed on my brain and the patience goes out the window.” My mom was listening to me. Sometimes she pays only half a bit of attention to me, especially when the TV is on in front of her (sixteen months into brain cancer, and she can still tell me everything going on in the news), or her caregiver is in the room, or when she’s simply tired or extra-weak that day. But that afternoon, she was listening, and talking, and it almost felt like old times. “Well,” Mom said. “It takes a lot of patience to have patience!” When I started to write this update last week, my post was a bit different than it is today. I was going…

We’ve Turned the Page on the Calendar, and You Should See the Bruise

Let me tell you a little bit about how 2019 and the entrance to 2020 have gone. We had a snow storm in our area last week, primarily because David was away for work, and when David goes away for work, the skies decide it’s a good time to dump at least six inches of unexpected snow onto our large driveway. Saoirse and I got it shoveled right away that afternoon, thanks to her enthusiasm for physical exertion and my stubborn will to keep going and ignore the spasms in my bad back (three large pregnancies with three very large babies broke me). When we woke the next morning to a blessed, much-needed, two-hour school delay, a snow squall was rolling through the neighborhood, covering the driveway with a powder-sugared coating that hid the pretty, sparkly, inevitably painful sheen of sheer ice that lay beneath it. As the kids were getting bundled into their hats and gloves and coats for school, I backed the car of the garage to make it easier for them all to pile in with their backpacks and instruments and lunches. I’d asked Quinlan to take out the dog…

For Mom and for Quinlan, a Field Trip

SO. Let’s catch up, shall we? Quinlan, our second kiddo, is in 4th grade, which is The Project Year in her school, aka The Year That Just Might Do In The Parents Yet. One of the fall projects she was assigned involved visiting a place in Pennsylvania as a tourist, and her teacher sent out a list of options that ranged widely in distance and cost. But you know how life goes: by the time I got to the online sign-up sheet (The world of online sign-up sheets is cutthroat, man. Other parents make me nervous), all the cheap/local options were taken, so I started eyeballing two other places that have been on our family’s “wanna see” lists for a while now: Fallingwater and Longwood Gardens. When I broached the ideas to Quinn, who really just wanted to go to Hersheypark and call it a day (ALL READY TAKEN, QUINN), she asked which choice would be one at which her Grammy could join us. Fact: Fallingwater is stairs upon stairs in a wooded forestland. Problem: my mom is in a wheelchair. Conclusion: Longwood Gardens, here we come. We chose Columbus Day…