Easter During a Pandemic: Well, That was Different

Quinlan was in my bathroom Sunday morning as we were getting ready to go see my mom. It was Easter. We’d giggled over the baskets and laughed through the backyard egg hunt and baked and eaten the Resurrection Rolls, but we’d also watched a lot of LEGO Star Wars, and every single one of us fell asleep during a televised Easter Mass. Normally at that time David and I are running around doing last-minute clean-up, cooking, decorating, because we always host Easter dinner for the family at our house in the afternoon. We were so not busy this particular morning. I wasn’t hollering at anybody to vacuum the stairs or comb the hair or help me set out the silverware. There were no spring flowers on the table, or lilies rising from pastel foil to fill the house with their sneeze-inducing scent. David went for a run. It was weird. I had taken a curling iron to my hair for the first time in a month and a half–these days the hair is air-dried and forgotten about, a process I am fully on board with–and Quinlan…

Coronavirus: He’s the Only One Calling this a Vacation

So here we sit, in the middle of the apocalypse (Kidding, kidding! It’s merely a terrifying plague!), wondering if this is what Orwell had in mind when he began writing fiction–no, not Orwell! Our present crisis is too scientific for Orwell. Maybe the guy that wrote The Martian? I don’t know. All I do know is that tomorrow’s literary agents better prep themselves for lots and lots of dystopian novels coming their way, because the writers of today suddenly have a LOT of time on their hands to produce–that is, if they can snap themselves out of their shock-induced paralyses to put down the bag of potato chips and write. Did you do your panic shopping? I was looking for lentils at the store a couple weeks ago because the internet told me I needed them, and ended up buying cans and cans of garbanzo beans instead. What am I going to do with this many garbanzo beans, you guys? It’s not like I can make hummus–the internet didn’t tell me to panic-buy tahini. I have to hand it to many of…

10 Survival Tips for the Caregiver (So to Speak)

Oh, hey, hi! How are you? It is weirdly warm and rainy here in our part of Pennsylvania today. I’m writing this in a near-empty Panera Bread (coronavirus!), after having purchased toilet paper online because we ran out at the house (children!) and all of our stores have been emptied of it (coronavirus!). I just ate a bagel with my bare fingers that had not been sanitized ahead of time, and I expect the dry coughs to start shortly. Last week’s progress appointment with Mom’s neuro-oncologist was odd. Here’s the thing: Mom can’t walk more than a few steps at a time. Last week, she couldn’t do even that–couldn’t support her own weight at all–and after an afternoon of physically lifting her from wheelchair to car to wheelchair to seat et al, we expected to hear the worst from her MRI results. But her tumor is stable. Can you believe it? It’s just that her body is failing more quickly than the tumor is advancing. She’s also not always recognizing where her body is in space…