A Morose Echo


A doctor from Downeytown, Pennsylvania, called me last week to talk about my 53-year-old brother Jimmy, a mentally retarded adult who lives there in a group home. Jimmy, he explained, had been on a diet and lost 15 pounds. But the rapid weight loss was sudden, not normal. And the physician observed that my brother…

The Retraction From Life


Weaker, yet still alive, still able to speak, Louise M. Hurvitz was in her wheelchair, in the sunshine near the glistening Marina boats, when she told me she wanted to eat a steak. That was on Monday, August 18th. She ate a hamburger that night, and a slice of pizza on Tuesday night. She was…

Prayers and Pharmaceuticals.


What day was it on the calendar?I did not know.I only know I was speaking with my mother, pushing her along in the wheelchair along the Marina path. The sky was bright, the boats were anchored along the dock, she said she was hungry and wanted a steak.It was last Monday, August 18th and Linda…

Denial.


“She was screaming at night about her arm, her chest, her leg,” Anisha, a caregiver, said. “She hardly slept.” Anisha was speaking about my mother,now in Stage 4 cancer, confined to a bed for the last eight months. Later on, when I went into her room, my mother said she had slept well the night…

The Whirlpool.


Cancer, homecare, medicines, hospice, chemo, wheelchair, bone cancer, lung cancer, cough syrup, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Remeron, Sinemet, Morphine, adult diapers, sponge baths, bowel movements, stool softeners, rehab, oncologist, nurse, radiation, constipation, oxygen, Stage Four, terminal, incurable, cremation. For seven months I've swum in a whirlpool of ugly words. Yesterday, again, I went down to see my mom…

The Art World


  6/4/14 Yesterday I went, as I have for almost six months, to visit my Mom, ill with cancer, now in hospice, at her apartment in the Marina. She can’t walk now, so she is either in bed, or lifted onto a chair, wheeled over and pushed out, into the sun, or more often, up…