caregiving

The Bed

The man falls out of the bed. It breaks. This is not the first bed to drop under the weight of his flailing bones and thrashing limbs. The bed is now braced by a two-by-four, and it is only a matter of time before it will go down. His balance is poor and he falls out of the bed. This happens all the time. It is not his fault that he has destroyed three beds, two couches, countless toilets seats and an array of nearby furniture. He crashes and trips into things. His body outwits his mind. It throws him around, shamelessly.

If Grief is the Price of Love, Life with Mary was a Deal

Mary and Dick had almost 50 years walking arm-in-arm in marriage and in life when she began holding on tighter than she ever had. Her pace slowed. She pulled on her husband’s arm. It was a subtle change that would give way to other curious happenings around their home. She was the consummate organizer, planning trips that would take them all over the world, managing the bills, the meals, the social activities. She was an education champion and elementary school office manager. Now, everything was taking more effort. Bills went unpaid. Things went missing. She couldn’t plan international trips. She was frustrated.  She had fits of anxiety and anger, uncharacteristic of her naturally easy-going way.

Caregiving Is a Family Matter

Tony was never far from a book. Much of his adult life was built around learning, and then teaching: first at Stanford where he was finishing his doctoral degree and then crisscrossing the country in pursuit of providing knowledge to others. His life was the recipe for an academic:  intelligent, serious and compassionate about ideas. It is no wonder that Tony, who in the mid-1970s as director of a national center for bilingual education training, mentored the girl he would marry. Miriam was a teacher and administrator when she accepted a job in the program, and a year later he asked her out on a date. Soon after, the program lost its funding and Tony fired her, and soon after married her, and encouraged her to pursue her own doctoral degree, which she did.