- I Want Mom's Hair to Look Good
For about two months, I have been complaining to Jennifer (the administrator at my mother’s assisted living facility) about Mom's hair. It’s long and straggly and looks like a comb’s passed through it about once a day. It’s clean, mind you, but it’s ugly. I know, I know—I should be satisfied that my mom is getting the best possible care. Correction: the world’s best care.
- A Reintroduction of a Good Enough Daughter
After posting blog entries here since June 2008, I thought, for new readers, it might be a good idea to reintroduce myself, my mother, and our story. (Jane Gross, author of the New York Times' blog the New Old Age, posted a version of this entry on January 22, 2009.)
- The Sacred Cloth
If I said it once to my mother, I said it a hundred times, “Move near me while you have the energy to make a new life for yourself. Don’t wait until you have to move.” As many readers know from their own experiences, my mother wasn’t going to move. Period.
It happened suddenly: multiple falls, a broken hip, profound confusion, and my monthly flights to Phoenix. Something had to give. Finally, my mother relented and agreed to move to a rehabilitation center near me. That problem was solved. Now, what to do with the condo and all the contents?
- Where Has All the Money Gone?
I thought raising kids was expensive and sending them to college even more so. But those expenses pale compared to the cost of caring for someone who is old and frail. As the “attorney in fact” for my mother, I write checks for thousands of dollars at a time on a regular basis. My mother, a retired social worker, would have a stroke if she saw the amount of money being spent on her care.
- At 57, I’m a Mirror Image of My 90-Year-Old Mother
It’s kind of weird. My mother is 90 years old and I’m only 57, but we look a lot alike. The resemblance is very strong. For years, strangers have approached me and said, “Oh, you must be Reva’s daughter. You look so much alike.” My mother told me that years back, while at an out-of-town airport, an unfamiliar woman approached her and asked, “Are you Sara Myers’ mother? You look exactly alike.”
- Here's the Thing
“We’d help DJ with his homework, but there are just so many good things on TV,” said Rosanne at her son's parent-teacher conference.
My mother fell and broke her other hip last week. The event came as a surprise—not that such events are ever expected. Usually, all plans come to a screeching halt when a family member is rushed to the hospital and has surgery the next day.
- I Can’t Make Everything Okay
Bruno Bettelheim Said It All
I am 57 years old and have sons aged 20 and 15. When I was pregnant, I read a few books about my pending new parent status, and a friend gave me a copy of A Good Enough Parent by Bruno Bettelheim, an Austrian psychologist famous for working with autistic kids. I'm pretty sure I actually read the whole book, but the title and the premise certainly stuck with me. Bruno said good parenting is knowing who you are, understanding your own childhood, and doing your best to be a good parent. He said that was sufficient.