hello-my-name-isFriday, November 21 is World Hello Day. “Anyone can participate… simply by greeting ten people. This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace.”

This, historically, would be an action that was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I find it increasingly difficult to say hello to people. Read the rest of this entry »

quitterOn a regular basis, the US Surgeon General offers a reports on smoking and tobacco use. 2014 marks the 50th anniversary since that first report in January 1964 that linked smoking with lung cancer.

This year’s report links smoking to:
*Coronary heart disease and stroke
*Lung diseases such as COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis
*Cancer of the Read the rest of this entry »

Samsung_SPH-M340_Mantra_Camera_Basic_Flip_Phone_Virgin_Mobile_24307_03My old cellphone died recently, a flip phone that totally broke in half, and would no longer charge. I’d had it only about five years, or maybe seven. I KNEW there was texting capacity on it but even though I READ THE MANUAL, I couldn’t figure out how to type words on a telephone keypad. I played with the # and * keys and got different, inconsistent results.

Anyway, I read RTM for the new phone; same thing: no information, assuming I’m SUPPOSED to know. But I don’t. But I Facebook IMed my old friend (and by old, I’ve known her since kindergarten) Carol Read the rest of this entry »

brain.r4_lightHere’s a link that I was going to use for my July Rambling except I forgot. OK, I didn’t forget, but it got buried in my e-mails: I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Seniors moments vindicated.

Ever walk into a room, stop halfway in, and wonder why you were there..in that room?

Sure you have.

Or forgotten a word for a few minutes? Even a whole phrase?!

These times are laughingly called “seniors moments” Read the rest of this entry »

trudy.pearlsOne of the truisms of my birth family dynamic was that, as the youngest, “baby” sister Marcia was the only one to move to Charlotte, NC when my parents did in 1974. Leslie and I were both in college in upstate New York, me in New Paltz, Leslie in the hometown of Binghamton. And while both of us stayed in Charlotte briefly, me for four months in 1977, Leslie or a few months a couple years later, neither of us ever became Charlotteans.

Whereas Marcia stayed in Charlotte for most of her life, save for a few months here and there. I remember more than one conversation with Marcia suggesting that she needed to get out of town, or at least out of the parents’ house, when she was in her early twenties. For a lot of reasons, it didn’t happen.

When my father died in 2000, it then became practical for Mom, and Marcia and her then-preteen daughter Alex to continue to live together. This was actually a sweetheart deal for Leslie, by then in San Diego, and me, in Albany. The three of them were all caring for each other. Leslie and/or I could visit periodically, but the day-to-day concerns of our mom was not our problem, because she was being taken care of.

So, it was not until shortly before my mother died in February 2011 that I realized how difficult my mother had become. Mom was a genuinely sweet person – seriously, ask anyone who knew her – but she would hit and occasionally yell, not at people who were strangers, but towards her family, Marcia and Alex. Mom would hide the mail, which became such a problem Marcia had to get a post office box.

Every six months, Mom would receive some cognition test. Her results in June or July of 2010 were within normal range, but the outcome for six months later was far less favorable. Again, I wasn’t aware of this.

At the end, Mom was clearly suffering some sort of dementia. Whether it was Alzheimer’s or something else I don’t know, and never will. And I suppose it doesn’t matter.

What DOES matter is that it was unfortunate that the bulk of the care for her fell on one person. I wish I had known sooner how difficult it had become.

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