NOW

“When do you leave?” I asked my young friend Donovan, a barista by day and performer by night. “Hopefully soon. My roommate has to find a job before we can leave. It’s hard because I feel like my life is on hold.” “Yeah I know that’s tough,” I said. With the relationship we have I knew he’d welcome some advice. “What I’ve found helps in this kind of situation is actively waiting. So, you know you’re going to be moving, which is a huge effort, but just because you don’t

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Post-It Noted

The routine is everything for a person with dementia.  Knowing this as a caregiver I make every possible effort at “sameness”.  However, sometimes that’s not possible and in the last couple weeks that’s been the case.  Combine this with the reality that my Mom’s disease is progressive makes things even harder.  What she could handle a year ago she can’t handle now.    More than once when I would get to her condo, I found her either agitated or sad.  She’d shake her head and say things like, “My brain

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Contagious Joy

“Mom, Ms. Grider would like to meet with us.” My mind immediately went to the worst. “Is there a problem?” “No, she thinks I should get a minor in speech?” “Really?” “She says I’m a natural.” “I know you like to talk but I don’t know about this. Go ahead and set it up though.” So, he did over a year ago and Professor Grider managed to convince me that at the very least Chase should take one more speech class. He didn’t need it to graduate but she made

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Witness

I was walking out of the gym when I noticed one of the fitness instructor’s dabbing at the corners of her eyes with a tissue. I gave her a half smile bowing my head ever so slightly to acknowledge something might be amiss.  As our eyes met she took my wrist and said, “Can I tell you something?” “Of course.” “I just found out a dear friend of mine passed away. I knew it was coming and she was old but I’m still so sad.” “Oh, my goodness I’m sorry

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Final-Finals

Finals week–finals week–finals week, it read on my calendar like a news ticker rolling past me at every glance.  I don’t think as a student I thought about it nearly as much as I did a parent.  Ever since the boys started high school I’ve always calendared it so I’d be available to help with whatever they might need. This semester was different though. It was the last finals week, unless one of them decides to get a graduate degree.  A thought I can barely wrap my head around because

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It’s Not Personal

I could see the numbers climbing and feel my anxiety pulse like someone was taking my blood pressure. Two hundred and seventy-five developmentally disabled people and their hundred plus caregivers are a lot of folks to be responsible for.  What if someone has a seizure on the dance floor or trips the fire alarm?  Or far worse–what if someone intent on doing something horrible shows up? The list of what-if’s is as long as the guest list for Prom. I know I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I

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20/80

The appointment card sat on my desk for three months. Over those months various penny finds would sit next to it.  Each one had a story I kept meaning to write but couldn’t take past the idea stage.  I’d jot some notes but the page would stare back at me just like that card.  Fatigue is to blame for the writer’s block.  The demands of carrying for my aging mother while helping my kid’s transition into adult life are taking their toll. I could have moved the card. Put it

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Communion

“Park right there,” she said pointing to a vacant spot between two large vehicles. “Sharon parks over there and I park here.” “Are your names on the spaces?” I asked. “Not officially.” “What about your pew?” “They should be,” she said not missing a beat. It was nice to start the morning with a few laughs after a rough couple weeks. My sweet Mama was in a car accident just before Christmas that totaled her car.  After 65 years of driving with a spotless record it was time to hand

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Prime of My Life

When the caller ID showed it was my friend Sandy I grabbed a tissue. I knew why she was calling so I expected to get a little weepy. I’d texted her the night before to ask for prayer. At one point in the conversation I heard myself say, “I’ve gotten to the point I dread my birthday. Some big meltdown always happens.” While that sounds like an overly dramatic fatigue fueled statement I could make a list of the eventful things that have happened in the last ten Octobers to

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Axis Mundi

Two days before Luke was to be baptized the pastor doing the honors told me about a dream she’d had. We worked together and I trusted God spoke to her this way so it didn’t feel weird. I say this because up to that point in my parenting journey I’d had plenty of people tell me they had a “word” about my kids. This really amounted to a way to “fix them”—as if they’re broken. That’s part of the ride when you have kids with special needs. Pastor Marilyn’s message

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