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dying parent

IV in hand

The Chance for a Better Goodbye

The post Too Soon brought up the topic of last days. With medical science’s ability, for better or worse, to rescue us from the bodily failures that swiftly took our ancestors to their graves without an adjustable bed or plastic water pitcher in sight, more of us will experience a …


Too Soon?

A friend from the Midwest told me she started writing her mother’s obituary while her mother was near death and unconscious in the ICU. She crinkled her eyes a bit as she spoke, as if to say, “Was that wrong? Was I supposed to wait?” But she knew she was …

boy dressed as old man

Role Revision

People say our roles reverse with aging parents—that they become the children and we become the parents. I respectfully disagree. Children are advancing towards the rest of their long lives. They need guidance, lessons and rules. The parent who doesn’t shape good practices in her child is placing the future …


On This Day in History

My great-aunt Helen, just 12 years older than my mother, was more like my mom’s sister than an aunt. She, my grandmother and my mom lived together for many years before my dad entered the picture.  Even after my parents married, the three were never far apart. When Aunt Helen …

Road Leading into a Sunset

Almost Last Words

I flew home again after my dad had been released from the hospital a second time following heart surgery. His breathing problem, the doctors pronounced, had been resolved. I parked the rental car, walked into his house, and, after friendly greetings, my dad’s long-time girlfriend (she hated the term “lady …