Connecting When You Feel Disconnected During The Holidays

Living in a connected world sometimes leaves people disconnected. Holidays often amplify those feelings. How do you create holiday experiences that will leave you filled with joy and happiness?

Celebrating HolidaysI used to love holidays. Growing up there were big family gatherings and community celebrations. I looked forward to helping my grandma cook and set the table. There was lots of laughter and joy and happiness. Celebrating holidays was important to my family.

When I went off to college I would go home for some of the holidays. And for those I couldn’t there was always an invitation to a friend’s house or an event for college students. Laughter and joy and happiness even though I wasn’t with my family.

CycleGuy’s family is small but there are lots of aunts and uncles and cousins who get together for holidays. One Thanksgiving we went to Denver to be with his family. I think there were over 50 people who came through. There was more food than needed, lots of laughter, joy, and happiness. It reminded me of home.

But after my grandpa died and my family was much smaller, it was never the same. I tried to recreate the house full of people and all the joy that came with it. But people move away, lives get busy, and things change.

It’s not that I don’t like celebrating holidays. Although, some people like to say I do. It’s just different now. Even though I try to make the holidays special so BabyGirl can create great childhood memories, without my mom and grandma and grandpa it’s kind of weird. When I was in my 20s and 30s it didn’t seem unusual on holidays not to be with the family I grew up with. Now that I’m in my 40s, though, holidays are a very strong reminder that all my family is gone.

Sure, I have CycleGuy and BabyGirl and Aunt Zoni and Grandpa Tommy. But as much as I try it seems like each year I miss my mom and grandpa and grandma more. I write this as Thanksgiving is upon us, but it’s the same sentiment for Hanukkah, Passover, and Rosh Hashana. As much as I want the laughter, joy, and happiness to be there I feel like I work so hard for it. I should come easy. Like when I was a kid.

Holidays bring the gamut of emotions. We remember those who has passed while we forge ahead to make new memories. It’s not that I don’t like holidays. It’s that I want them to be the same idyllic celebrations they once were. And because they’re not, I struggle with different being OK.

I’m writing this for those who are like me and find the holidays somewhat difficult. Difficult in the sense that we love them and the memories and the family and the getting together. Even the cleaning and cooking and more cleaning. And the leftovers. But it’s not the same because there are people we’re missing so much that they’ve left a hole in our heart that just hasn’t closed yet.

My mother loved every holiday and despite often not feeling well, she would make it a priority to be around friends and family. I feel like times are different now, though. That being in the presence of others doesn’t mean they’re present. It’s like a disconnected connectedness. And I have a hard time with that.

Times are changing and I need to change with them. At the same time I’m responsible for helping to create the foundation of how BabyGirl will look back on the holidays of her childhood. I don’t have many left with her, and that makes it even more difficult for me.

So this year I’ll try something new and channel my mom and do for others. Because it’s hard to feel sad or alone when you’re surrounded by others who are so glad you’re there. People who are present and appreciate that you gave up part of your day for them. And I’ll do it with my family and I’ll go in feeling the happiness and joy that I once felt. Just knowing it’s still there means there’s a likelihood I can rekindle it.

How do you spend the holidays? Not just Thanksgiving, but all the holidays? Do you have family you miss that keeps you from doing things? Or do you make sure to do things to keep their memory alive?

Sara

Heirloom Guilt

Heirloom Guilt

Hi, my name is Sara and I have heirloom guilt. What is heirloom guilt? It’s a mental health issue, kind of. A psychological block that brings about feelings of guilt at having to get rid of family “heirlooms”. And I use heirloom loosely. It sounds fancier than “getting rid of the “crap my family couldn’t” guilt”.

I openly admit to still, after nearly 18 months, having most of my grandmother’s belongings in storage. Some of it has been in storage for almost 4 years since we put some things in storage when she moved to Phoenix. But, at that time, it was her stuff. It wasn’t for me to discard. She and I would discuss going to the storage until “when it was cooler”, “when I feel better”, “when I’m not so tired”, “after the holidays”. You know, later. Another time. A time when the memories won’t flood and make her sad. Sad to be without both of her children and husband. Sad to think that soon she would leave me alone.

Those days going to the storage unit never came. After she passed away I only had a short time to clear out her apartment. So nearly all of it went into storage. And now, nearly two years later it’s still there. Untouched. In the same boxes I packed long ago believing I would go through it “when it was warmer”, “when I had an unscheduled weekend”, “later”.

The reality is that I don’t need any of the things in storage. I’ve done fine without them this long. Organization experts say that if you haven’t used something in 12 months it’s time to get rid of it. But this is my family’s history. Memories. Connection. Our past. How do you get rid of someone’s past?

All rhetorical questions, I know. It happens every day. People purge stuff all the time. We move. We downsize. We get tired of dust collectors. The bags and boxes fill up, we pile them in the car, and drop them at the donation center without making much eye contact lest they see we aren’t sure we should be doing this.

I know I can’t keep everything that’s packed into two storage units. Actually, I can’t keep most of it. I also can’t keep paying the monthly storage fee. That’s idiotic. I’ve already paid several thousand dollars. If I hold on to it for a few more years I could have bought a really nice car with the money paid to store all this stuff. That’s kind of stupid. My grandparents taught me better about using my money wisely. Ugh, more guilt!

Heirloom guilt is very real. Sometimes it’s debilitating. I drive to the storage unit but can’t even go in to the locker. It’s overwhelming to think about getting rid of my past. My memories. My history. At the same time, though, it will all just end up a pike of garbage if I do nothing.

I think of selling or giving it away and my heart gets heavy, my chest becomes tight, the adrenaline starts to rush, and the thoughts of not having a past swirl. I think of those who lose everything to fire, flood, war. I think of them and try to understand that the stuff isn’t what hold my memories. I hold the memories. I am responsible for sharing those memories. For sharing the past. That this stuff can’t speak and tell the story. If I don’t tell their story they’re worthless.

Ultimately, though, it’s not about the stuff or the memories. It’s about my own realization that I’m the last one. That I’m alone, in some sense of the word. That my family is gone and all I have are these trinkets. And either I let go of the guilt or I’ll be controlled by it.

So, I take a deep breath and close my eyes. And believe that it’s OK for me to let go of the stuff. And the guilt.

Sara

Make Trick or Treat Time Safer With Life360

Life360 App Halloween

This post is a sponsored conversation about family communication.

It’s that time of year when little ghouls and ghosts take to the streets to plan a few tricks, but mainly to grab lots of treats. For some people Halloween is a big celebration. Not so much for me. But I do buy the good candy!

Each year, though, BabyGirl dresses up and heads out to say hello to friends in the neighborhood. As she gets older, though, she’s more interested in hanging out with her friends than walking alongside mommy. She’s also invited to trick or treat with friends from some of her other activities, in areas we’re not very familiar with. Then there is the bonanza that is Trunk or Treat!

I’m determined not to let my apprehensions about Halloween become her issue so when Life360 asked me to share how I use their app it only seemed to make sense. It’s an app I’ve been using for quite awhile, but mainly as a way to stay connected with some of my online friends. It wasn’t until we were at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party when I realized Life360 could be the perfect way to keep my family connected without relying solely on text messages.

I’ve written about Life360 as way to stay connected with your tween or teen in case of an emergency. So it makes total sense that Halloween and the nighttime festivities would be the perfect time to create a Life360 circle. How could you use this family communication app for Halloween?

Life360 Logo

4 Ways To Take The Trick Out Of Your Trick or Treat with Life360

1. Divide and Conquer – Instead of relying on back and forth texts of “Where are you?”, families can split up but still see where each other are located. This is especially great if the kids are going out with a sitter or grandparents. Instead of trying to figure out exactly what street you are – are we two streets over or three? – just check-in and others in your circle will know where you are.Life360 CheckIn

2. Teen New Drivers – What good is letting the teen get a driver’s license if we have to drive them everywhere? With Life360 you set up a Place location, and rather than the teen having to check in with mom or dad (which you know is totally not cool) once they get to the Halloween party you’ll get a notification. When they leave the party you’ll know that too. No need to text and drive because they forgot to let mom and dad know they’re on their way home. Safety times a bazillion!

3. Increased Independence – You got the kid a smartphone, but what good is it if they’re too cool to send mom or dad a text. (As if they’d actually call!) Having the Life360 app on their phone kids can check-in when they get where they’re going. No need to text mom or dad while their friends are looking. Or, gasp, risk a text from mom popping up while you’re trying to be cool in front of that cute guy or girl. Instead, communication within the app is more private and secure. And, kids are more likely to check in or let you know if there is an issue when they can do so without risk of being called-out by their friends.

Life360 Messages

4. Block Party – Teens and young adults have more opportunities now to attend large-scale parties for Halloween. Since Life360 is about keeping in contact, the app is flexible and allows groups of young people to stay connected. No need to hang out waiting for everyone to show up, just use the app and put everyone in a circle so you get notified when they arrive. Again, no need to text them 87 times because they’re driving and aren’t answering their phone. Let technology work for you!

I wish I had used the app more when we were in Florida. It would have been easier than texting. I had been using it more for business than for family communication and I was totally missing out on how amazing the app really is. I love the safety features built-in to the app that would allow BabyGirl to hit PANIC if she got separated and flustered. I really like that she can just check in and I know she’s OK. It’s tough being an only child when it comes to learning about independence. While she’s used to doing a lot of things on her own, sometimes it’s me who needs the push to let her try her wings.

About Life360

With users in over 200 countries, Life360 is connecting families near and far. Backed by $76 million in venture funding, the app has grown more than 400% over the past year to become the world’s largest network for family communication. Whether it’s dinner plans, car pool, or just making sure the kids got home safely from school, Life360 gives families simplified communication and peace of mind right at their fingertips.

Download the FREE app for iPhoneAndroid, or Windowsphone.

If you’re on social media, you can enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card from Life360 by sharing a photo of your costume. Tag your photos #Scare360 and share them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

On Instagram, follow @Life360app and tag your costume photos with our handle and #Scare360.

On Facebook, share your photos on Life360’s wall and tag them #Scare360.

On Twitter, follow @Life360 and tag them and the photo with #Scare360.

Note: Image information obscured for privacy.

Sara

3 Stargazing Apps For Every Smartphone

VZW DisclosureStargazing App

Summer is a time to relax and put the schedule aside. It doesn’t always work that way, though. And at the end of the day your mind goes over the 872 things you did that day and the odometer on the car that seems to spin like you’re looking for the $1.00 space at The Price Is Right showcase. And then night falls. And the quiet settles in and you’re thinking of heading outside to just sit and look at the stars.

Here in Phoenix, being out during the day is the last thing we want to do in the summer. We all do our best to manage it, but it’s just the reality here. Come nightfall though, we’re ready to go. Even though it doesn’t get dark until well after many kids’ bed time, sometimes you just need to stay up late and look up at the sky. With days upon days of cloudless skies and no school the next day, why not see what’s going on up in the dark sky?

Having spent time with professional stargazers and their expensive equipment, it spoils you. But we all can’t run out and buy a $10,000 telescope. What we can do, though, is download a few apps, look up at the stars and see what people have been look at for thousands of years.

1. Star Chart

What’s better than point and go when it comes to looking at stars that look like a bunch of little white dots in the sky? This augmented reality app is a top educational resource and will wow kids and adults alike. You can look at the sky visible to you or anywhere in the world as you turn your phone.

Available FREE on: iOS | Android | WindowsPhone

2. Sky Map

Another “point and look” app, Sky Map has over 11,000 star points and can pinpoint your location using GPS. While this app has the same name on all three mobile platforms, each is made by a different developer. Nonetheless, it’s a top app that works anywhere in the world day or night.

Available FREE on: iOS | Android | WindowsPhone

3. ISS Locator

Have you ever seen the International Space Station zip by? During an astronomy lesson I chaperoned for my daughter’s class we not only got to see the ISS fly by, but it was releasing a cargo pack and we should see that trailing behind as well. No fancy equipment was needed to see these. If you knew what you were looking for. Luckily, there are apps for all mobile platforms that will help you spot it no matter where you are in the world. Depending on where you live you may be able to see the ISS several times a week!

Available FREE on: iOS | Android | WindowsPhone | Web

So, get your phone, download these apps, and head outside after the sun goes down and re-live those times at camp when you’d stare up at the sky and wonder if the man in the moon really existed. Doesn’t matter if you have kids, if you’re a kid at heart, or just love checking out what’s up there in the dark of night these apps will surely make you popular at home or even at those summer evening garden parties.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Verizon Insider team. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sara

30 Ways Smartphones and Mobile Devices Have Changed the Way We Live

 

30 Ways Smartphones

VZW Disclosure

According to the Pew Research Center, as of January 2014, 90% of American adults have a cell phone. Of that 58% of American adults have a smartphone. Add in tablet ownership and we’ve got a lot of people using mobile devices in the US. And when it comes to the ways these devices can help us be better global stewards, it seems like the options are endless.

Just 5 years ago most of us were tossing yellow page books into the recycling bin without even bringing them in the house. Now, we don’t even get phone books because internet access is making them obsolete. With mobile devices, we can get that same information even if we’re not home. Think about all the trees saved with this change in how we access this information.

30 Ways Smartphones and Mobile Devices Have Changed the Way We Live

  1. Many of us no longer use paper for our lists because we’re using apps like Wunderlist or Evernote.
  2. We take fewer trips to the store because we can take a photo of what we need or want someone else to get.
  3. We photograph EVERYTHING yet rarely print anything.
  4. We (usually) don’t get lost when driving.
  5. Checking a map is less embarrassing than it used to be just a few years ago.
  6. There are apps to remind us to exercise. And drink water.
  7. Carpooling or car sharing is easier than ever with apps like CarpoolSchool, ZimRide, and KarPooler.
  8. We can downsize more easily by recycling or find new things by upcycling.
  9. Need help finding a recycling center for anything, there’s an app for that too. Actually, there are two great recycling apps.
  10. Our phones double as a flashlight, level, compass, and calculator.
  11. Music doesn’t need a separate device (sigh, Say Anything, sigh).
  12. Be prepared for medical emergencies with a First Aid app.
  13. Order food from virtually anywhere.
  14. Stay in constant contact with people even when you’re not with them.
  15. Share your travel photos with the world.
  16. We can read books, magazines, newspapers, journal articles, user manuals, and so much more without holding a piece of paper.
  17. Documenting history is no longer just for journalists.
  18. Kids can do homework or parents help kids with homework from anywhere.
  19. Asking questions of experts is a few taps away. And so is being an expert and answering a question someone else has.
  20. We watch TV differently than we did when we were growing up.
  21. And we document our lives in ways our parents never imagined.
  22. But it’s not all roses, because now we can’t just say “I wasn’t home”.
  23. Sometimes we’re more engaged with the conversation on our device than the one in front of us.
  24. We’re more likely document abuse and violence rather than just walk away not wanting to get involved.
  25. We shop differently, and those storied of “hanging out at the mall” no longer resonate with kids.
  26. Many of us don’t wear watches or own separate alarm clocks.
  27. Writing checks and mailing our bills is, for many, a thing of the past.
  28. We’re more informed consumers.
  29. We can wait less because of apps that help manage time at various events or attractions.
  30. Saving money has never been easier than with the plethora of apps and websites to help us.

I can go on to list more things, but these are a good start. We can do more with less and in many ways decrease our impact on the environment. Yes, these devices bring with them special considerations when they are discarded. But with all mobile carriers offering recycling programs it’s not difficult to dispose of them properly. And, I know there are drawback of having mobile devices connected to us 24/7. The point I’m trying to make is that mobile devices have changed the way we live and doing so in ways that can improve our lives, the lives of others, and the world.

How is your phone helping you reduce your carbon footprint?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Verizon Insider team. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sara

The Second Most Difficult Phone Call

My Grandma (center), her brother and sister-in-law, February 2013
My Grandma (center), her brother and sister-in-law, February 2013

Elder Care

I’ve had to make difficult phone calls. I think we all have. And we’ve likely all been on the receiving end of those difficult phone calls too. So we know, a little bit, about what’s going on when all we hear is silence.

When my grandfather passed away I’m the one who called everyone. My grandmother wasn’t in a position to do it, having lost her daughter 4 years prior and her son just one year prior. When my mother died, my grandfather called me. I don’t really know what he said after “Sara, this is Grandpa.” It didn’t really matter because I knew why he was calling. Same with when he called me when my uncle died. Despite knowing it was going to happen, there was nothing I could do to keep my brain from not wanting to hear the words.

Yesterday I was the one making the call. Not about death, that call will come sooner than later. It was that call I thought would be the hardest. I never thought about the one that would come before.

My grandmother and her baby brother are best friends. Have been since the day he was born. He was “her” baby. She was 7 when he was born and as the youngest it was her job to help take care of the new baby. Today, they’re both in their golden years, she in her 90s and he in his 80s. They speak every day. That’s how it’s been for almost 20 years. The only times they’ve not spoken were when my grandmother’s been in the hospital and unable to use a phone.

This past spring, my Uncle and his wife came to visit his sister. My grandmother and Aunt are very good friends, having known each other over 70 years. It’s like they’re sisters, to some extent. They laugh, share stories of people they’ve known since childhood, and talk about friends who’ve passed away. That last part, at their age, is very common.

I adore my Uncle. My great uncle, really. And, he truly is great. If I could call him my super uncle I would, he’s that wonderful. Which is what really makes having to talk to him yesterday so difficult.

So far, in my nearly 45 years, calling him yesterday morning was the second most difficult phone call I’ve had to make. Yes, the second. The first will always be reserved for the one in which I had to tell my husband something bad happened to our daughter.

I knew there would come a day I had to call and tell him his sister passed away. When you’re 93, it’s not a matter of if just when. I also knew that would be a hard call to make. But he’s been on the receiving end of 7 of those calls letting him know a sibling has died. It’s how things go when you’re the youngest of 9 kids.

But this call. Sigh! My grandma is dying, and while it may be days or weeks all I know is it is imminent. And in her whispery breath she said she needed to say goodbye to her brother. Who am I to deny her that call? She’s weak and doesn’t open her eyes, but when she asked for this I knew I was the one who’d do most of the talking.

How do you call up someone and tell them that in a 24-hour period of time things went from bad to terrible to worst? I had to do that. And while it was difficult, I did it because it’s what I had to do as her granddaughter and caregiver. So I called and told him she wanted to talk to him. I know what she said, and I know what he said when I got back on the phone. She said goodbye to her brother, her best friend. The last person she’s known all his life.

I’ve never seen my Uncle cry. So hearing him choke back what I’m certain were tears, I can’t even explain how I felt. All I know is I wish I didn’t have to do, but I’m glad I did. Because sometimes not being able to say goodbye hurts more.

Sara

Make Room For Family Time This Summer

Monopoly

No alarm clocks waking the kids, endless sleepovers, camp, swimming and fun pretty much defines summer. Although, for many summer can be as scheduled and busy as the school year. Either way, we’re once again left with few opportunities to just hang out as a family. You dont’ need a staycation or a fun-filled family vacation to make family time a priority.

So how to get started planning family time into your summer? Join me at Enough Time Moms to learn, share and discuss ways to create summer fun around family focused time.

Disclosure: I am a compensated blogger for Enough Time Moms. This post reflects my views and opinions and was not reviewed or edited by a third party. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Image Credit

Sara

Tips For A Great Family Vacation

Phuket

Whether spring break or summer travel, family vacations are often on the schedule. For some, the childhood memories are filled with fun experiences of family vacations at the beach, camping, drives to the national parks. For others, it was just hours in the car wanting to be anywhere but there. As parents we want to create vacations our children will remember fondly for many years to come. But how? Visit me over at Enough Time Moms and learn tips for creating a great family vacation.

Disclosure: I am a compensated blogger for Enough Time Moms. This post reflects my views and opinions and was not reviewed or edited by a third party. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Image credit: Image: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sara

Tips for Improving Family Communication

 

CycleGuy and I have been married 17 years and have been together over 25 years. In that time, we’ve gone through various degrees of communication. I often joke that I can read his mind. But the truth is, if good communication was as easy as mind-reading we’d all be working on becoming mind readers. Visit me over at Enough Time Moms and join the discussion on how to improve family communication.

Disclosure: I am a compensated blogger for Enough Time Moms. This post reflects my views and opinions and was not reviewed or edited by a third party. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Image credit: Image: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sara

Elder Care: From a granddaughter’s perspective

Bubbe photo

That’s my grandmother, my Bubbe. BabyGirl and I went to visit her in December because she doesn’t like to travel. Actually, she loves to travel. Only traveling now is much more complicated since she needs oxygen at night. And then there is all that TSA stuff. So, we go visit her.

I’ve mentioned my grandma before. Last year she celebrated her 90th birthday. She still lives in the only house I’ve ever known. She and my grandpa had it built in 1968. She’s a very independent woman!

Every few weeks I’ll get a call from my aunt, a neighbor, one of my Grandma’s friends asking if she’s visiting me because they can’t get a hold of her. This has been going on for about six months. And every time I tell them no and reassure them that she’s just fine, having spoken to her just days prior. They’ll sigh a sigh of relief, thank me and assure me they’ll stop by her house to be sure she’s fine.

My grandmother has outlived most people she started life with. She has buried both of her children (my mother had a stroke in her 40s and my uncle died of Lupus-related complications in his early 40s) and her husband. Of her seven siblings, only her ‘baby brother’ remains. And he’s in his 80s.

It’s almost weekly now that my grandma tells me she’s going to a funeral. I guess at 90, that’s just part of life. She has very few friends, peers, still living. Most of her friends are significantly younger. Then again, my grandma doesn’t seem to think she’s really 90!

When you’re 90 and live on your own, most people are in awe. I certainly am! After all she’s lived through the Great Depression, wars, conflicts, and 17 presidents. Woodrow Wilson was president when she was born. She’s seen the world change before her eyes. From no television to the ability to stream live events in the palm of her hand. No telephone to its ubiquity.

Yet here I am, the primary responsible party (I use that term loosely because really, my grandma is very responsible for herself) being bombarded with ‘friends’ and relatives telling me she can’t live on her own any more. They have no real reason for that other than she’s 90 and perceived to be frail.

And while I don’t like when my grandma drives, she is as good a driver as most people out there. Her hearing isn’t as keen as it once was but she’s not a danger. She drives no more crazy than she’s always driven. Actually, I think she’s more cautious now because she realizes her hearing isn’t up to par. Truth be told, she’s never caused an accident in all her driving. She’s been involved in accidents, but never the cause. So she’s got that going for her.

Most of the issues relate to her forgetfulness. Some people try to tell me she has Alzheimers. Far from it! Cancer three times, yes. Alzheimers? No. However, she does have symptoms of vascular dementia. But according to her doctors it’s normal given her medical history. Nothing to worry about they keep saying.

I talk to my grandmother several times a week. Her brother talks to her every day. If ever there is a time we can’t find her for 24 hours straight I can call her local police and they’ll check on her. They know her by name. She bakes treats for the precinct every few weeks. If she hasn’t been by in awhile they stop by. It’s like a TV show when she walks in, balancing two big chocolate cakes – cheers of “Hello, Mrs. Greenberg!”, “So nice to see you, Mrs. Greenberg!” and “Thank you, Mrs. Greenberg!” echo in the stark halls.

But she’s 90, will be 91 in a few months. I know she’s not that same spry young woman who helped raise me. And regardless of my age, to her I’m still a child. Not that I’m incapable, but when it comes to some decisions she wants to make them on her own. Thankfully her brother is there to team up with me to make sure she’s making good decisions.

Our newest issue has to do with her moving out of her home. She doesn’t want to. She see no reason for it. And, honestly, I’m no so sure I disagree. Yes, it’s a lot to deal with. Sure, it is not easy making 3 meals a day. Heck I’m half her age and I have troubles making 3 meals a day! She cares for herself, drives to her appointments, visits and shopping.

Who am I to tell her she has to leave her home? I know she needs some help, but she’s not too keen on that. She keeps forgetting that she’s 90! In her mind she’s still very young. When she turned 90 she told me she was starting to feel old. Starting!

I’ve watched as some of my friends have had to find care for their aging parents. I’ve helped them pour over brochures of what look like Disney for the senior set. It’s very different because this is my grandmother, not my mother. For my uncle it’s a challenge as well because it’s his big sister. The dynamic is very different. But our desire for them to be safe is the same.

I knew this time would come. Actually I’ve been listening to people tell me what to do about it since my grandmother had her last cancer surgery nearly 3 years ago. I’ve been ignoring them for a long time. But now they’re getting very loud.

I have always had a great respect for my friends who care for their aging parents. I’ve watched how they gracefully transitioned from child to caregiver. I’ve taken mental notes, bookmarked websites and have read and read and read. And yet, I’m at a loss as to how to do this dance with my grandmother.

Sara