Letting the Future Take Care of Itself

I accidentally came across an article yesterday about how signs of neglect when it comes to the home of an elderly person, such as an overgrown yard or dilapidated house, can prompt an investigation and perhaps have their home taken away.

I say I “accidentally” came across the article because it’s not a subject I would ever pursue on purpose — just that brief scan gave me the heebie-jeebies. I’m not sure how true it is that signs of neglect can prompt an investigation, especially in an area like this where there are so many derelict houses (many owned by the resident slumlord), but it made me worry about taking care of my house and made me wonder what I was thinking when I put in the lawn.

I can take care of both the house and lawn now with no problem, but as I get older? Not so much. And it’s doubtful whether I’d have the wherewithal to pay for getting things taken care of. So there I will be, a frail old lady, with an unkempt yard and a house desperately in need of paint, and . . .

Nope. Don’t want to go there.

Actually, I do know what I was thinking when I put in the yard. I wanted a small patch of green in the front because I figured I could easily take care of that even if I got frail, but I ended up with the tag-end of someone else’s sod job. I worried that those leftovers wouldn’t be enough to cover the area I’d set aside for a small lawn, but the workers kept laying the sod and laying the sod and pretty soon I had a pretty yard that will eventually be pretty hard to take care of.

I did have to laugh at my tarot reading today. The Three of Wands said I had great skill in realizing plans and goals, but the Two of Pentacles warned that my goals are becoming incompatible with reality. Yep. Sounds about right. Especially when it comes to the yard. The whole point of creating paths and planting wildflowers that will eventually naturalize was to make things easier on me in my old age, not harder.

But I can’t be sorry about the grass. It is so pretty! I’ll keep it looking good as long as I can and try not to worry about what comes after. I did think, the other day when I was mowing, that I should have put the pretty lawn on the neighbor’s property. That way I’d be able to enjoy it without having to do the upkeep!

I suppose I’ll get used to the work when I get used to the tools (the next one I need to figure out how to use is my string trimmer), but for the next few days, I’m taking a hiatus, both on the worrying and on the work. I’m not even watering anything. It’s just too darn windy to be outside.

By the time the wind dies down (according to the forecast, we’re in for a lot of wind for another couple of weeks), the last frost will have passed. I’m hoping the frost we had last night will be the last — it sure took a toll on my poor tulips. Luckily, I thought to take a picture yesterday when they were looking good.

Also, luckily, I am hale enough that I can still maintain myself and my property. That’s all that should matter today. The future can take care of itself.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Downslope of Life

One good thing about being on the downslope of life is that after so many years of living, it’s easier to take some things in stride, such as the weather. I wasn’t able to be out in the warm afternoons the past couple of days, and yet as lovely as it would have been to go walking and enjoy the sun, I had other things I had to do. I consoled myself with thoughts of other such days because the truth is, they will come again.

First, of course, will be another spate of winter weather, and that too, is inevitable. Weather, especially weather in Colorado, is ever changing. I remember one year in my childhood when Christmas was sunny and warm enough that we were able to play outside without wearing coats or even sweaters. That Easter, it snowed, so I couldn’t wear my new Easter hat and shoes. (If I remember correctly, Easter was when I got new shoes for church. September was when I got new shoes for school, and if the old shoes still fit, they were relegated to play shoes.) Some years were like that. Other years, we were inundated with snow at Christmas and sweltering heat at Easter.

Something that doesn’t change with the years is . . . years. They keep adding up. Unlike weather, one’s age doesn’t go up and down, though health and feelings of well-being do fluctuate. But even those fluctuations are easy to take in stride because . . . well, because that’s life. That sense of the inevitability of aging seems to disappear when one is truly aged. I remember my father wondering when he will get “better.” He didn’t seem to understand that he wasn’t sick; he was old. And he wasn’t the only old elderly person I’ve encountered who had that same mindset of needing to get better; it seems quite common. (I use the seemingly redundant term “old elderly” because “elderly” covers a vast range of ages from a relatively youthful elderly age of seventy to an extremely old elderly age of close to one hundred.)

It’s hard to know, of course, what I will be like at that age, but I suppose I will lose my sense of taking things in stride and become as querulous as so many other nonagenarians.

But I’m not there yet. For now, it feels good to be able to take life as it comes, knowing that for every down there is an up and, unfortunately, for every up, there will come a down. Nothing lasts.

I remember as a child thinking that it would be eons before I ever grew up, and yet, here I am, eons beyond childhood. At least, it feels like eons. The actual number of years falls somewhat short of an eon.

Time passes.

Things change.

For now, I am grateful I can take such changes in stride and oddly, for today anyway, I am content to be on the downslope of my life.

This is an old photo because although I might figuratively be on a downslope, literally I live on flat prairie land with not a slope anywhere in sight.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Too Concerned with Age?

People tell me I’m too concerned with age, and perhaps that’s true, but I don’t necessarily see such concern as a bad thing. It keeps me focused on what I can do now to protect myself later. For example, I do balance exercises, stretching, walking, knee exercises to strengthen my knees, and various other activities. There might come a time when I can’t do these things anymore, and so I do them now when I can, and when it counts. Exercise always counts, of course, but it’s a lot easier to maintain one’s muscles than to redevelop them after they have atrophied.

I am also cognizant of where I am and where I place my feet. I hear over and over again (and I see the proof in people I have known) that if you want to live to a vital old age, don’t fall. In fact, the last advice the orthopedic surgeon gave me during my final appointment after he’d done what he could to fix the wrist, arm, and elbow I’d destroyed in a fall, was, “Don’t fall.”

I have fallen since then, though luckily, I didn’t even bruise myself any of those times. I am aware, however, that such luck might not always hold. After all, it deserted me back when I took that horrible fall after a dance performance. (I was heading back to my car and when I walked between two cars, the motion-activated parking lot lights went off, and in the darkness, I tripped over a misplaced parking berm. Actually, the berm wasn’t misplaced. The idiots who maintained the parking lot repainted the lines for the parking spaces so that cars were parked in the open spaces between two berms.) Come to think of it, I was lucky back then, too. With all the damage, I could have lost the arm, but I didn’t, and I even managed to gain normal usage

I come by my wariness of falling through experience rather than advancing years, but I am still aware of how necessarily it is for a healthy old age to refrain at all possible from falling. Surprisingly, this awareness of a need for not falling doesn’t set me up for a fall, though you’d think it would. Like if you’re trying not to think of a pink elephant, that’s all you can think of. (I bet you thought of a pink elephant, didn’t you?) Because of this, I use my hiking poles, even though at times it makes me feel old, as if I were so feeble, I needed two canes. But better to use them when I can rather than when I have to.

To be honest, I don’t think I’d be so concerned with age if I weren’t a caregiver. When one is young, you never equate yourself with the elderly. You simply know that in the division of life, you are young, and they are old. But now that I am getting older, I see myself in these nonagenarians, and I wonder what I will be like at that age (assuming I live that old. Both my mother and her mother died in their middle eighties). Some problems are inevitable, but are all of them? I don’t know. But the question arises every day, and so I do what I can to hold back the growing tsunami of my years.

All things considered, I am doing well for my age. Doing well for a younger age, actually. A lot of that “doing well” is because of my concern with growing older, because despite what people might think, I don’t sit and stew. I do.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Age Is Not Just a Number

Numbers are important in our lives. Or at least, we’ve made them important. Today seems a significant day, a rare Twosday — not only is it a day of twos (2/22/22), but it’s also Tuesday.

Dates are important to us; if nothing else, the numbers on the calendar make it easier for us to navigate our complicated lives. More than that, we give some numbers on the calendar a special significance. For example, we make a big deal about New Year’s Day (1/1) even though it has no real significance other than a change of calendars. In fact, the new year in other cultures starts on a different day.

Temperature numbers are especially significant to us. This morning when I got up, it was 7 degrees. I don’t really need the number to tell me that it is cold — a brief step outside would fulfill the same function — but somehow, knowing the number makes it official.

And yet, when it comes to age, especially an elder age, any concern a person might have about growing older is met with a dismissive, “Age is just a number.”

Age is not just a number. It tells us the time on our biological clock. We only hear about “biological clocks” when it comes to childless women nearing the end of their reproductive years, and yet time is ticking for all of us. We might not know the end, but we do know the end is coming, and the older we are, the more the end looms.

A friend who was about to turn seventy was really freaking out about her age, and she was embarrassed about her reaction to the birthday, but to me, her reaction was totally understandable and nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, seventy is a significant birthday and worth freaking out over.

All through their sixties, people can convince themselves they are still middle-aged — late middle age, perhaps, but still solidly in the middle years. Then comes seventy, and any pretense of still being young are gone. Especially now, with the pandemic and all, seventy-year-olds are stigmatized as “elderly.” True, they are elderly, but not as eld as they will become. That dang clock is clicking louder and louder as it counts down the last years of life. Oh, sure, they might still have two or even three decades left, but changes will be coming more rapidly.

There is not a significant physical change between the ages of forty and fifty. Nor between fifty and sixty. Or even sixty and seventy. But there is a huge difference between seventy (with the blush of middle age still on one’s cheeks) and eighty (which by anyone’s definition — except perhaps an eighty-year-old’s — really is old). An informal poll tells me that seventy-five is when most people notice a substantial change, but still, at seventy, there are signs of decrepitude. Mentally, people may feel the same, but physically, by seventy, most people are slowing down. Joints hurt. Doctor visits are more frequent. Medications aren’t just a quick cure but are a permanent fixture. The possibility of a frail old age, once unthinkable, becomes . . . thinkable.

When you’re young, old age is for other people. Youth is eternal. Until it’s not. And suddenly, there you are, wondering who the old person is looking back at you in the mirror.

It’s not really a surprise, then, that people want to believe that age is just a number. To think beyond the number is to accept truths that people might not want to accept. Still, when you’re at peace, when the aches and pains are momentarily absent, when the ticking clock silently recedes into the background of your mind, then you feel like . . . you.

When my sister was 35, she asked my mother, who was then in her seventies, how old she felt, and my mother said she thought of herself as thirty-five. My sister thought it wonderful that she and our mother were the same age. I don’t know how much longer after that my mother continued to think of herself as thirty-five. It’s not the sort of thing she and I ever talked about. But no matter how she felt, she did start having health issues, and she definitely showed her age. Then, a few years later, after my brother died, she suddenly grew old and ill and died within the year.

So, yes. Age is just a number, and yet it’s not.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Restless Sleep

A friend sent me a cartoon of a woman reading in bed, with the caption: I tried everything to get to sleep last night. Well, everything except closing the book and putting it on the nightstand. Let’s not get too crazy.

I had to laugh at that because oh, it’s so true! At least some of the time, anyway. Last night was not one of those times.

I did close my book and put it on the nightstand, tired physically and tired of the tiresome story, but I still found myself too restless to sleep. My allergies were acting up, which exacerbated the touch of insomnia, but the problem was mostly external. I find that when a storm is moving in, I get restless and unable to sleep. The same thing happens with a full moon. And last night, there was both a snow storm and a full moon. I’m lucky I managed to fall asleep at all. Or maybe not. I woke up stiff and sore, so whatever sleep I did manage to get wasn’t exactly relaxing.

Fortunately, even though it’s very cold today, the clouds are moving away. And the moon is on the wane. I shouldn’t have a problem sleeping until the middle of next week when another storm hits the area.

It has been an interesting winter so far, with the middle of the week becoming very cold, warming up to a relatively nice weekend, and then dropping back into the midweek cold spell. Spring will be here in four and a half weeks, and it will be interesting to see if this same pattern holds true, though spring around here doesn’t really mean a whole lot because the last freeze doesn’t come until the beginning of May.

Still, change is in the air, but hopefully not too much change. It would be nice to get a good night’s sleep tonight. Who knows, I might even get crazy enough to close my book and put it on the nightstand earlier than usual!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Talking Ourselves Out of Things

When talking with a friend the other day, I happened to mention the supplements I was taking for immune system support, but then I had to admit that I don’t always take them. She said, “It’s easy to talk ourselves out of things.” And boy, isn’t that the truth! She and I both try to stretch every day, but we find it easy to talk ourselves out of doing it. Too tired. Not enough time. Too lazy. I tell myself it doesn’t matter, that a day or two won’t make any difference, and it’s true. A day or two won’t make any difference, either in the case of the supplements or the exercise, but a day or two tends to become three or four or even more.

Even that wouldn’t be a problem — many people go their whole lives without exercising or taking supplements — but I’m to the age where if I let these things go too long, I might not get back to them, and then there would be a problem. The exercises particularly are helping since so many are geared toward strengthening knees and back, and when these go, you end up with a whole mess of problems. When you’re young, you can slide for years, but there comes a time when there might not be years, and if you don’t do it now, you might never be able to. (And if you don’t do it now, you will guarantee that you will never be able to.)

I’ve spent a lot of time the past couple of decades around the elderly, and I see how their lives changed because of injuries or illness or lack of exercise. Many times, of course, the changes came no matter what they did, but other times, life got to be too much, and they just gave up and gave in. Gave up on trying to better themselves on their own; gave in to the doctors and all the medications the doctors prescribed, as well as all the medications the doctors prescribed to offset the side effects of the original medications.

Obviously, I have no idea what the future holds for me. But I do know if I take care of myself now as well as get into the habit of making an effort when that’s the last thing I want to do, the future could be a bit healthier for me.

To that end, I’m trying to force myself into accountability. Not force myself to exercise (stretching and walking) or take the supplements, or eschew sugar, or get off the computer early enough so that it doesn’t affect my sleep. Just the accountability. Keep a record of when I do the things I should do for my health and well-being. That way, maybe I will stop talking myself out of doing those things, and just do them.

Admittedly, some of these things, such as taking a walk every day, are affected by my crazy work schedule, but for right now, I just want to get into the habit of accountability. Though chances are, in a couple days or so, I’ll talk myself out of doing that, too, because it really is easy to talk ourselves out of doing things.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Anxious About Anxiety

Despite the title of this piece, I am not anxious about anxiety, or anything, actually. I just thought the title a clever one for an essay about worry at things and worrying about things.

In a comic strip from 1992, Calvin told his buddy Hobbes that he prayed for “The strength to change the things I can, the inability to accept what I can’t, and the incapacity to tell the difference.”

A blog reader sent me the link to that cartoon, and when I read it, I couldn’t help laughing out loud. It seems so apt, particularly now when I am trying to puzzle out my water meter situation. Actually, it’s not truly that situation I’m trying to puzzle out, but my response to it. Like so much else I have little control over, I tend to worry at such things, like a dog worrying at a bone.

I figure I have two choices. The first is to learn not to worry at things, though it’s not only a lifelong habit but also an inherited one, and those are hard to break. My dad solved his tendency to worry at things by writing notes to himself, and as long as he had those notes, he could generally let the matter go

His notes were sort of a running joke. My mother told me she found a note he’d written for himself after they were engaged with the date of their nuptials and the message to “Marry Stella.” (He used her real name, of course, not “Stella.”) It appalled her, so she’d asked him, “Do you really think you’d forget to marry me?” He said, “No, but I didn’t want to take a chance.”

Now that I myself write notes to get things out of my head, his note writing isn’t as amusing. But it does show that my worrying at things is honestly come by.

My second option, if I can’t break myself of the habit of worrying at things (and truly, “worrying at” things is a vast improvement over “worrying about” things) is simply to accept that it’s the way I am.

This situation has made me wonder what my old elderliness will be like. (As opposed to my current “young” elderliness.) My father was on anti-anxiety medications, and perhaps it might have been a good thing because although he didn’t seem anxious to me, he did worry at things a lot. This seems to be a characteristic of many old elderly — an inability to accept things they cannot change and the incapacity to distinguish those things from what they might be able to change. (Though with the oldest of the elderly, there is little they can change.) And since they also worry about death and dying, many physicians routinely prescribe anti-anxiety pills whether the person needs it or not.

I hope I am wise enough at that age (and in control enough of my own life) to forego the doctor’s interference with my worrying. As I thought when I found out about my father’s prescription, if a person can’t worry about death and dying at the end of his life, when can he? In fact, shouldn’t he be worrying about it? Or maybe not worrying, but thinking about it in preparation for the end? Apparently, not, according to my father’s doctor. A fretful old person is harder to deal with than one who is sedated, which I do understand. It really is hard dealing with someone who doesn’t comprehend the changes they are going through, can’t comprehend why their life isn’t totally their own, and can’t comprehend why they can’t comprehend.

It seems then, that there might be a third option in regard to my “worrying at” things: Learn to live with a whole lot of incomprehension.

As for the water meter situation: As it stands now, the water company guy insists it isn’t the meter’s fault. My contractor (who knows this house almost as well as I do) thinks the problem is at the meter. So, I wrote a note to myself about the situation in case the matter isn’t resolved, then I’m going to try to forget it and let those two men duke it out at high noon during a showdown at Bertram’s corral.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Just a Kid

One’s concept of old and young seem to change as the years pass. I remember when I was very young asking my aunt how old she was. I think she was in her forties, but she answered, “Twenty-nine.” Then she and my mother laughed. I had no idea what the joke was. To me, back then, twenty-nine was unfathomably old. And now? Unfathomably young.

For many years, I looked young for my age, so the one time I asked for a senior discount that was advertised, I thought there might be a problem proving I was old enough, but the clerk (just a kid) told me she’d already given it me. What a come down that was! I never bothered asking for a discount again; I didn’t think my ego could handle it.

Now I do look my age, even to my age-adjusted eyes. Even if I didn’t look old, I’d know I was because people seem so dang young. I watch the news sometimes with the lady I help care for, and it seems to me that people reading the news are a bunch of children playing at being newscasters. They’re not that young, from mid-thirties to early forties but still, they look like kids to me. But then, to the woman I care for, I look young. “You’re just a kid,” she tells me.

Not that it matters, really. I once was young, and now I’m not. It’s all part of the cycle of life.

Oddly, unlike my aunt, I never told anyone I was twenty-nine. Even when I was twenty-nine, I doubt I told anyone my age. The topic just doesn’t come up. Or perhaps other people aren’t as rude as I was when I was young. Come to think of it, I don’t know what prompted me to ask my aunt her age. I really wasn’t at all rude when I was young. I’m not rude now that I’m not young, either.

This last part has nothing to do with age, but is a follow-up to my water meter dilemma. The meter reader was just here. He checked the meter, and says it’s working fine, that I have no leaks though somehow the meter shows another 4,000 gallons used in the past three weeks, which is impossible. Normally, one person uses about 3,000 gallons a month, and that includes, all indoor and some outdoor water usage, which is what I use in the summer. But it’s winter, and in the winter, I use half of that amount.

I suppose this is more proof that I’m not just a kid anymore; if I were, I wouldn’t have to deal with this mess.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

Special Day

Today was a special day. Actually, all days are special in their own way, even those filled with agony and anguish, though I don’t know why they would be special except perhaps that painful days tell us we are alive, even though momentarily we might wish we weren’t.

But today wasn’t a day of body aches or heartaches. It was an easy day, pleasant, special in its uneventfulness.

It was a lovely day outside, which gave me an opportunity to stretch my legs. So often in the almost two years since I damaged my knee (while sleeping, of all things!) I took small steps to keep from damaging the knee further. Lately, though, I’ve been reminding myself to use the whole sphere of my being.

We live in a personal sphere, the space taken up by outspread arms and legs. As we age and become more fearful of missteps, and as we try to protect painful limbs as I did, we shrink into the center of our spheres, shortening our stride, hunching into ourselves. Grief was that way for me, too, pulling me into my center as if to protect me from further blows. It took me many years to finally straighten and open myself up to my whole personal sphere. And to open myself to life.

Striding out has its own problems, I am sure, such as a tendency not to pay attention or to pay attention to the wrong things, so I use my Pacerpoles to help with my stride and my safety as I walk. Unlike most trekking poles or walking sticks, the action of the Pacerpole is more natural, with the emphasis behind the trunk instead of in front. (Similar to using ski poles). These poles make me feel more like a regular person than like an old lady who is so feeble she needs two canes. They also make the walk more of a full-body exercise, which is good, as well as taking some of the weight off my knees, which is even better.

But I am getting away from my point about this being a special day. As I said, the weather was lovely. My main meal was tasty and relatively easy to prepare. (I added chicken and vegetables to a broth I’d previously made.) Although the book I read was rather weird (I’m still not sure what the point of it was except that it was a different sort of ghost story about soldiers lost in Cambodia during the Vietnam war), I was delighted to have the time to finish it so I could start another one by a different author that might be more to my liking. (Interestingly, the first book was called The Reckoning the second The Great Reckoning. I liked the serendipity of those titles.)

And now I am here, talking to you about this day that was special in such an unspecial way, and that’s nice, too.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Posted in bloggingculturelife. Tags: alone but not lonelyliving aloneno one to care when I leave 

The Privilege of Being a Caregiver

Occasionally, I have time to read at work when the woman I take care of is napping, but I can’t read anything involving since I need to keep one eye (or ear) open in case she wakes and needs help. So I’ve been reading the forty-year-old Reader’s Digest Condensed books I found on her shelves. I read most of the books in unabridged book form when they were originally published, though I can’t recall many of the stories — that was about 15,000 books ago! I remember the covers, though, as well as the titles and authors, so that’s something, I suppose. Still, whether I’ve read the books before or not, reading them now gives me something to do.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother with the condensed books — it doesn’t take me very long to read a full-length novel, and though I can’t tell when reading the condensed version what has been edited out, I can’t really get into the story. The things that are left out must be the sort of thing that pulls me in and keeps me reading a book at a single sitting, because the condensed versions certainly don’t do that. Sometimes I go for weeks without a chance to read at work, so one of the stories I’m reading can sit there for ages without my being compelled to find out how it ends.

Normally, I wouldn’t have anything to say about condensed books because they simply are not a part of my life, but now they are. Sort of. In the same way that the news and commercials have crept into my life because sometimes I watch Judge Judy or the news with the client, which means lots and lots of commercials.

The good thing about the condensed books is I don’t end up with earworms or brainworms or sticky music or stuck song syndrome from them as I do from the commercials. You know what earworms and all those other terms are: they are all names for the bits of ditties that get stuck in your head that you can’t get out. The term earworm was created over 100 years ago, so apparently, this is an ongoing problem — one I got rid of after I stopped taking dance classes and before I started elder sitting. Oddly, the earworms that most infest my brain are from commercials for various drugs. No wonder people can remember what drugs to ask their doctor about — a whole lot of time and money is spent creating those earworms.

Sometimes I mute the commercial, but that is such an unfair trick to play on the elderly — they have no idea what happened when the sound suddenly stops. So I deal with the earworm, and the condensed books. They are such a small price to pay for the privilege of being a caregiver.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.