Words of My Father

In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.  Let  your conversational communications demonstrate a clarified conciseness, a compact comprehensibleness, no coalescent conglomerations of precious garrulity, jejune bafflement and asinine affectations.  Let your extemporaneous verbal evaporations and expatriations have lucidity, intelligibility and veracious vivacity […]

The Grandparent Thing

“There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house/no mirrors in my Nana’s house/So the beauty that I saw in everything/the beauty in everything/was in her eyes/like the rising of the sun. I only knew love and I never knew hate.” Ysaye M. Barnwell What was my model for grandparenting? Interesting question! Thinking back to when […]

A Site for Remembrance

Dad has been in the closet for a long time. He was cremated in 2006 and spent the next five years by the couch where his wife lived her days with him, her dog, and her cat. When his wife moved north with her daughter several years ago, he became my responsibility. My father’s only […]

Our Fathers (who art in heaven)

Dear Friend, Our lives have been entwined through many years, so I should have known that the death of your father would have a profound effect on me. Not because I knew him. Still, what affects you affects me. And it is the universal feeling of loss, of becoming an orphan at an advanced age […]

Father’s Day is Here Again

To the Family Fathers… I come from a tradition of involved fathers. It was my dad who sat huddled in a chair by my bed when my sore throats or earaches kept me awake at night. (Read more here.) It was my husband who went to the baby who cried in the night. As each […]

Blessings in Death…and Life

Sometimes blessings are carried on the wings of death. I began thinking of this when I learned of the passing of a man who lived across the world and across cultural boundaries.  It was the father of a friend made through blogging. I learned a lot about this man and his father because he was […]

Acceptance and Change

Dear Nephew, Thank you for sharing your insights with me.  I’m happy for you that you can take responsibility for those things in your life which you have done and still understand that much of what happens in our lives (especially our childhood) is without our input and outside of our control.  It’s very releasing […]

…on being separated from children

(NOTE:  This is one of a series of requested letters that will be posted under “Form Letters”.  These are for those of you who would like an idea or a template for a letter of your own.) To My Dear Child, This separation is hard, isn’t it?  I want to be closer to you, both […]

Living Through Change

I need a moment here: to be relieved, be angry, to grieve and to have moments of self-doubt.  I need to do it without myself, my family or my friends defending me and minimizing my feelings. It’s hard not to have regret when someone dies.  For my husband and I, the death of each of […]

Goodbye, Farewell

Dear Kids. It is the end of an era.  Dad’s wife is moving to be near her daughter. Of course, I’ve been missing her for several years.  Because except for the fleeting moments of joy when she looks up and really sees me, the ‘nother mother I once had has been disappearing into dementia for […]