Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Congratulations Miss Lowe!

Well, my BFF Bobbi has been very successful in selling her house in 3 days flat! Even when I was a realtor working full time, this would have been considered to be a record but, once I turned her onto the best realtor ever (Carolyn Yeakle), the sale came faster than anyone expected. I couldn't be mor excited for her and can't wait to visit her in her new digs. Congrats, Miss Lowe! You deserve to start on the next half of your life. Yahoo, babe!

I shall see you in Key West!

Monday, May 20, 2013

So perfect a piece of artwork

I found this piece of art in Bisbee, Arizona and was immediately drawn to it. It's the perfect representation of my Mom and me - even down to what looks like a sandal anchoring the hands and the butterfly. I was transported to a time when I clipped Mom's butterfly barrett to her hair every morning, to a time when she was with me in body and in spirit. But, make no mistake - the woman still follows me around! I hear her and Dad all the time - particularly last week when I made some large decisions about the future of my life. They continue to lead me down an ever evolving path. A fascinating, incredibly rewarding and warm path. They prepared me well to step out as an adult and, for that, I'm forever grateful. Not everyone is as lucky as to be prepared for living their own lives. Thank you, Gert and Joe!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Writing continues

Now that Mom is no longer with me, I've been finding ways of keeping her memory alive; here's a few of my latest articles:

Because of her - a tribute to Gertie
Pictures of Gertie - life with my 95 year old Mom

I also was consulting full time but that gig is over so I'm floating 'free' at the moment. I doubt I'll stay 'free' for long as I think I probably will be bored not working so back to work I go - but, I'll probably take the summer off anyway. There are a lot of travels booked for the future; I might even recreate the folk's cross country camper tour! We shall see. We shall see...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another milestone has passed....

Well, today found me in Berkeley Spring, WV where I sold my cabin (full price, in 10 days, thank you very much...). As I sat at the closing table across from the adorable buyers, my thoughts floated back to the wonderful times Mom, Dad and I had at the cabin. Dad called it the "Beach House," and, indeed, it did have the serene feeling of our beach house on Kent Island years ago.

Nightfall at 'Mansion West' would find Mom, Dad and me pulling chairs up to the front of the porch overlooking the mountains. As dusk fell, we'd turn on the light in the front yard and watch the bats swoop down and catch the moths. The three of us would be on which moth would be the next one to go (Dad was always right - it was the largest, whitest moth....). I lost a lot of money to that man.

Ah, but, after Dad died, I could rarely get to the cabin. It was a bit too remote for me to take Mom alone so we stopped going about a year before she died. In fact, I hadn't stepped foot into it for a full year. I missed it sometimes but I was grateful to just be with Mom.

So, today, another milestone has passed. The cabin has been passed to a couple whom I believe will love it even more than I did. And, I think they'll have many wonderful times up there too. I hope they build the memories like we did.

Here's an article I wrote tonight:

How to say goodbye to a dying loved one.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My newest Kindle eBook is up!

Senior Citizen Caregiving 101: Things I wish I had known

Well, after an incredibly sad day yesterday of mourning the first year anniversary of Mom's death and putting to sleep yet another dog (thanks John - there was no way I could have done it yesterday, and it had to be done), today is dawning brighter. I immediately felt better upon arising from a long sleep, snuggled in with 3 remaining dogs. Oh well - "These things happen."

I spent most of the day unpacking from the latest excursion to Dominican Republic while planning the next trip for the month of May. Six loads of clothes later and I'm almost repacked and dreaming of the next trip. I'm certainly making up for the time I was Mom's caregiver and couldn't get away for very long! I know she'd be proud of me.

I also managed somehow to get my new Kindle eBook done. The title is "Senior caregiving 101: Things I wish I had known." There's 15 chapters about stuff I mostly figured out on my own, with a little help from my friends, and a whole lot of guidance from my Mom.

Here's the link:

Senior citizen caregiving 101: Things I wish I had known

It's free from the Kindle lending library so, if you have a Kindle, go for it. It was really cathartic to write and a whole lot of fun to finish! Thanks loads to Sharyn for editing it for me and for John being my second reader.

Note: if you do read it, please leave me a comment on I'd really appreciate the leg up.

Onward and upward....

Friday, February 15, 2013

My year of firsts if over

This morning, as I opened the door to let the dogs out, the first thing I saw was one of Mom's cherished "red birds" at the bird feeder. How very fitting.

As I type this, I'm watching the computer clock in the upper right hand corner of my Mac - it just hit 7:11 am on February 15, 2013 - 1 year to the minute from when Mom died. I'm sitting in the living room in the exact spot where she took her last breath, and I feel her presence so strong. It's like a hand on my shoulder, a whisper in my ear. I feel her every single day. Sometimes I laugh at her, sometimes I recount inane conversations we had to pass the time, and, always, I feel the love that she had for life in general and her family in particular.

I've just returned to my own life after 10 days in paradise in the Dominican Republic with the best man on earth - my true soul mate, John. We spent many hours talking about Mom and how lucky John was to have known her. And "know her" he did. They had a connection that spanned the 55 years of age separating them. And, through Mom (and through me), John has a very real idea who Dad was. I'm always surprised when John brings Dad up in conversations - he truly understands who my Dad was. And, although he was sorry to have missed my Dad, John is incredibly grateful to have spent the last 5 years of Mom's life with us. And, boy, I don't know how I would have survived then (or today) without him. Mom gave him the greatest compliment she ever could have one the day she uttered "You remind me of Joe."

So, today, I'll spend some time wallowing in the pits of grief but, as Mom and Dad taught me so well, I'll pull myself up with a little help from my friends, I'll go to the graves and put down some flowers. I'll walk the dogs. I'll chat with friends. I'll get on with it.

And to those of you who have been so instrumental this last year in helping me get on with it, there are truly no words to tell you how much your presence in my life has meant. Thank you.

With much love, Lori (and Gert)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Surviving a year of firsts (mourning Mom)

Well, February 15, 2013 is rapidly approaching and, with it, my own 'year of firsts' is almost over. I've made it through Mother's Day, my own birthday, Father's Day, Dad's birthday, Mom's birthday, Thanksgiving, Channukah, Christmas and New Year's with a lot of support from my very loving friends. I've wallowed briefly in the grief that invariably occurs but I've also learned a lot about myself and life in general.

The year has been, at times, trying, but it has also spotlighted just how well my parents prepared me for life in general. I've certainly missed Mom (and Dad) and have had some low times but I've also had some wonderful times as my friends and I continue to laugh at her and Dad's antics. Neither parent is far from my thoughts and, as we approach the 1 year anniversary of Mom's death, the grief comes back in smaller waves these days. The sense of 'a new normal' is occurring and it's not a bad normal at all.

I've spent a lot of time this past year reflecting on exactly how lucky I am to be sharing my life with the best man on earth and the best friends on earth. They've been there right when I've needed them - always. And, they've given me space when I've need it - always.

I've also made some amazing contacts this past year on the internet - people who have found me through my internet writings on senior caregiving and have reached out for advice or help. I've come to understand that I was a pretty good caregiver, even though I learned by the seat of my pants. I've found that, by helping those who reach out, my own grief is lessened. I've also written another eBook which will be published on Kindle shortly. The working title at the moment is "Senior caregiving 101 - things I wish I had known'. It will be the first in a series of caregiving books I hope to write.

And so, as I turn another corner and head off into the rest of my life, I can't look back on 'the year of firsts' as a bad year at all. In fact, if possible, I've grown even closer to my parents as I listen to the lessons they taught me. Lessons I cherish and heed.

Here's an article I wrote on Squidoo about Surviving a year of firsts.
And, for those of you in the same boat, here's a FaceBook page I just started: Support page for those losing or who have lost a parent