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Browsing Tag: family time

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…

Almost a Year After Mom’s Diagnosis, We Find Ourselves Back at the Beginning

Hi, everybody. Are you good? Did you have a nice summer? Or have you forgotten summer now that most schools are in session so you’re busy pulling out the sweaters and warm boots because YAY I DON’T HAVE TO SUNSCREEN THE CHILDREN ALL THE TIME NOW? I hear you. I mean, I’m not in a hurry, or anything. But the mornings are now quiet without the singsong of our neighborhood birds. The light is different–almost flatter, if that makes sense–and the air outside seems subdued. The season is changing over, quieting down. And I think I’m happy with that–I love autumn–even if, in my world right now, a quiet season doesn’t always mean a quiet life. I owe you an update on my mom. I’ll post something more detailed soon, but in a nutshell, she’s beaten her prognosis (we’re now almost a year out from her diagnosis), has completed treatment (other than a twice-monthly chemo infusion to keep her brain swelling in check), and is working to get her muscles stronger so she can walk…

And They Don’t Know the Difference

It was a last-minute decision to go. Saoirse had off school the Friday before Labor Day, and I’d asked Dave if he could maybe take off work. We didn’t take a vacation this year–didn’t even schedule a “staycation”–because we were so hoping we could swing a real one. I knew we wanted to do something together, just us, that day–one last hurrah, sort of, a redemptive hurrah, of sorts, to say, “okay, at least we did our best.” When you buy a new house the same summer your only brother gets married half a country away, “did our best” is the best you can do. And that’s okay. We ended up going to the National Aquarium, in Baltimore. Just for the day. Just us. Jellyfish. Sharks. Fish striped like one of the throw pillows I used to keep on the couch. The kids were mesmerized. I kind of missed that pillow. Saoirse could have watched the dolphins the entire weekend, if we’d have risked the whole getting-arrested-for-trespassing part. We did not buy souvenirs. We…