Category Archives: Honoring those that passed

He Was Joyous

Aunt Beulah

Ernie on the river Whenever Ernie laughed, he did so with his entire body, a knee-slapping, unrestrained, booming cackle that invited others to join the every-minute-of-every-day party he hosted for anybody who wandered by.

But eating corn on the cob made Ernie more philosophical: the more gnawed cobs, the more profound his utterances. During a six-cob session, he said the best thing about being old was no longer worrying about the expectations of others, but doing what he wanted. Furthermore, when he did so, people usually expressed amazement and appreciation.

Since his favorite activities were drinking beer and singing scandalous songs he learned in the Navy, I could believe people expressed amazement.

“I’m easier on myself now I’m old and retired,” he continued “I’m finally free to do things because I want to, not because I’m proving something to myself or others. At 68, I’m 200 pounds of blue-toned steel, and I can pee…

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The Essay My Mother Wrote

Jeremy Podolski

Five years after her death, a 20-year old letter tells powerful story of a mother’s love

I was rummaging this week in my Windows documents folder – my generation’s version of a cobwebbed attic – looking for something I no longer recall, when I saw a folder simply labeled “Mom.”the essay my mother wrote mother and sonIt’s been more than five years since my mom died of ovarian cancer at much too young an age. Five years: a blink and an eternity all at once. I try desperately to remember the sound and cadence of her voice. I trip over triggered memories of time-bleached events, hoping to add new detail to my imperfect archive of childhood. Occasionally, I pick up the phone to call her, only realizing my folly when I struggle to remember her number.

Unexpectedly finding something that is about her, belonged to her or pictures her is like discovering treasure buried beneath a…

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Why You Won’t Be Seeing My Makeup-Free Selfie

PhDaisy

IMG_0096 Dad’s selfie taken a month before his diagnosis

This is my makeup free selfie. No, I don’t need to wax my upper-lip – I did that last week, actually. The person in the selfie is my dad, Julian Raphael. He died on December 4th, 2013 of pancreatic cancer.

I was nominated to share a #nomakeupselfie on facebook in order to raise awareness about cancer. Initially I thought, “I have no idea what this has to do with cancer, but why not?” I’m not ashamed of my makeup-free face. I used to be. From the ages of about 15 to 25 I was afraid to leave the house without it. Now, however, I have come to really love my face without makeup – zits and all – and I would be pretty proud to show off how pretty my makeup free face is. With the right lighting, hairstyle and camera angle…

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Air: Capturing a Woman’s Final Days

Dignity therapy at its finest.

Jess Dewes

On January 30th, 2014, a woman walked into my photography studio carrying a tote bag full of oxygen tanks and jewelry. She smiled at me from under the hose that disappeared into her nostrils and I fell for her instantly.

On film, first meeting, 1/30/14.

A few months prior to the day Julie VonderHaar came to my studio for a portrait, I was invited to be part of a group photography show at a gallery called SOHA in South St. Louis, MO.  I was informed that the theme of the exhibit was simply AIR. Each photographer (8 total) was to interpret the theme however they liked and create something for the show. As a businessperson, exhibiting in shows like this is rarely lucrative, but the artist in me couldn’t resist the opportunity to stretch a bit beyond my work portfolio of baby portraits, corporate head shots, and wedding documentation.

I knew…

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R.I.P, Mom

A touching story of a son’s thoughts on his mother’s last days.

Smoke Signals

One day, I had a call from mom.

It was one of those routine calls she used to make to my wife and I, more as a means of reaching out than because she had some news of import to convey – the telephone line as umbilical cord.

So she would call and ramble on about my eating habits and smoking and how the neighbor was remodeling his home and the dust was settling in thick layers all over our home as a result and about the other neighbor whose daughter, based in the US, was pregnant, and…

I listened patiently to those stream-of-consciousness chronicles of the mundane ticks of her time because I knew she was, in her own way, trying to make up for lost time. Through a torrent of words, she was trying to make up for the grim silences of the past.

So that day, she…

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Memory Bears by Bonnie

For Those Who Grieve

Aunt Beulah

living well to age well

Red's Wrap

Happiness. It's relative.

Family Inequality

by Philip N. Cohen

Intergenerational SIG

Chronicling the ties that bind- Aging. Health. Relationships. Community Engagement. Advocacy. Caregiving. Life Stories.

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