Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aging Gracefully

I've long thought that we fail miserably at caring for our elderly in North America.

Having lived and travelled in Asia and Africa, I'm always amazed that, no matter how little a family might have, they consider it their duty to care for their aging parents. The primary care task often falls to the eldest son or, more likely, to the eldest son's wife.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I, an only child, negotiate the road of elder care for my Mother who is in the early stages of dementia. I could use one of those wives about now.

Among other things, moving my Ma was precipitated when the Catholic Church in her northern Ontario town, under the guise of something called the "Diocesan Reorganization Project" decided to close her Church.

Before there was FaceBook, there was face time. My Mother's Church was the foundation of her social life and a gathering place for all the ladies in the community. Closing it was pretty much like pulling the plug on her life force.

For months, every telephone call we had began with, "So you know they're closing our Church."

So she agreed to moved closer to me.

For the past few months, I've been arranging the move.

If you know me, you understand that what I do for a living is pretty all-consuming, so arranging the move during my off hours has been a delicate feat of time management. But the universe has been more than cooperative, and I've been gifted with incredible periods of grace and generosity.

Whatever I've needed has almost magically appeared -- including a coveted spot in a Catholic senior's apartment literally attached to a Church with daily masses.

It's enough to make a believer out of me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I think I need to start writing for myself again. So I'm starting with this teeny tiny post. After this, it might not seem overwhelming.