Dialogues with My Mother Joe Weintraub
My mother handled Dad’s funeral quite well. Considering. Considering that she had been removed against her will from her home almost a year before, to reside in an assisted-care facility, Tudor Hills, separated from my father who, in need of round-the-clock medical attention, lived a quarter mile down the road in the far more institutional setting of Avon Vale, among a far more damaged and dependent population. Considering that she suffered from severe attacks of clinical depression, plunging her into states of catatonic anxiety whenever she was confused or whenever the rigid routines she had arranged to structure her days were in any way disturbed or displaced. Considering that although she could participate in normal conversation--with her customary interest and affection--and speak accurately of the distant past, her recall of the previous days, hours, even minutes quickly vanished from her consciousness. Considering that on the last night o…
Karen Albright Lin
DAD’S SYMBOLS (with tears on my keyboard) 
When my father’s pneumonia/COPD took a turn for the worse, I flew to Connecticut.  Alongside my brother and cousin, I was with him as he passed on as peacefully as one can with life-sustaining oxygen removed, morphine compassionately administered.  Afterward, we faced the bittersweet removal of Dad’s things from his assisted-living efficiency at St. Mary’s Home.   His was a tiny place, but packed wall-to-wall with his last years’ lifestyle, outlook, and convictions.  He was sharp to the end, so it was a surprise when we discovered he obsessively collected certain items.  I reflected on who he was as I imagined the symbolism of each. 
Shame:  Dad had hidden empty liquor bottles and beer cans.  He could have anonymously taken those bags out to the dumpster just around the corner in the hall, but he’d struggled with alcoholism his entire life.  His secret drinking had undermined his sense of worth.  He was ashamed of this weakn…

Against the Dying of the Light - Gisella Orkin

Against the Dying of the LightbyJENNA ORKIN
(First published in Counterpunch)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail My mother, Gisella Orkin, did not go gentle into that good night. There weren’t many things she did do gently; caring for her babies was about it, although she could also melt in the presence of a stranger’s suffering. We once attended a party where she spent the better part of the evening talking to a stroke-afflicted guest whom everyone else politely ignored. But more often, she was a force to be reckoned with as few people, even her closest friends, understood.