Tag Archives: aging parents

Time to Cry Tuesday – On Doors Closing and Opening


I always loved the phrase: When one door closes another one opens.

Last week I experienced an uber (no, not that Uber) example of those proverbial doors. I tried my very best to keep my emotions under the drama bar and go with the flow. This, by the way, does nothing more than exhaust you beyond description and is simply a control freak’s illusion, but I seem most comfortable in this state.

As with most of my life, the sequence of my doors were reversed. But this saying made for a nice thread for this post, so let’s go with it.

On Thursday, a door opened. Big time. The one to my daughter Jana’s new apartment. The apartment that she will be sharing with the love of her life – the young man who she has spent many long years waiting to live in the same city with, let alone under the same roof. In reality, the door to this apartment made it a challenge to get a queen-sized box spring through it and up the stairs to her bedroom, but this was the small stuff. (Rectified, btw, by sofasurgery.com. Quick plug for an amazing service that solved the problem in less than 2 hours from call to completion).

The opening of this door was one to the beginning of a wonderful life together and the joy I feel for them is beyond description. (And contrary to those who question this, his mother and I will not be living with them)

On Friday, a door closed. Big time. After many months of listings, contracts, deals, stops and starts, boiler and oil tank replacements, clean-outs, boxes, yards of bubble wrap, sorting, reminiscing, sales, dumpsters, tears, laughs, one broken toe and one tennis/schlepping elbow… we closed on the sale of my childhood home. With each stage of this process, no matter how much stuff we took out of this house, it still felt like the home of my childhood. My family is embedded in the walls of this place. Even that very last day, the one when the house was completely empty except for the bottle of Stoli in the freezer that we toasted one last time to my mom with, we could not help but feel that she would somehow come walking out of that kitchen.

The closing of this door? Well it certainly carries with it a bag of mixed emotions. I walked out of that closing (both the real estate deal and the door) with an odd sense of calm coupled with an overwhelming exhaustion. I certainly have said my goodbyes to that house, that life, that anchor. I am happy to be rid of the process. But there is a lingering phantom pain surrounding never being able to ‘go home again’.

Ok, so maybe I crossed over the drama bar for a moment.

The net of all this (other than my overuse of cliché and devices)? I am a women who loves signs and juxtapositions. I thrive on the meant to be and the alignment of stars. To close on 10.10 at 10am at 1010 Northern Blvd. rang that bell big time. And it was my grandfather’s birthday to boot.

But nothing rang the bell more than the site of my girl in her beginning as I was tying up an ending.

One door opens and another one closes… maybe it is ok to reverse that saying, after all.


Filed under aging parents, childhood, cliches, doors, family, sentimentalites

Thank you Miss Nipples

This is an actual phone conversation with my dad Friday Morning:

Me: Hello

Dad: I am not taking your mother to the Emergency Room.

Me: Um, OK. (looking for my coat and car keys)

Dad: I called AT&T this morning to have the phones turned on in Florida.

Me: (wondering if I had somehow missed a sentence here). Uh, Dad, is mom ok?

Dad: Sure, why?

Me: WHY? Because you said you weren’t taking her to the ER (some major history here that I will not get into but trust me there were times when he SHOULD have taken her to the ER)

Dad: That was a joke because I didn’t want you to worry that I was calling so early.

Me: Oh, funny (not) But it is 9:45, it’s not that early. Never mind. So you were saying that you called AT&T.

Dad: (with Mom starting to laugh in the background and me feeling grateful that she was not unconscious with her head bleeding on the dining room floor) Oh, right. So this woman answers the phone and she sounds like she has a cold, has this really heavy southern accent, and she talked so fast I could not understand her that well. I asked her name and she said “Miss Nipples” (now Mom is really cracking up in the background)

Me: Miss NIPPLES?!

Dad: (Starting to laugh). Yes, so your mother told me to tell her that I was old and hard of hearing and ask her to speak slowly and clearly. (that would be because he is old and hard of hearing but he does not seem old so we always think it is kind of funny to tell people that he is).

Me: I assume you were not wearing your hearing aids.

Dad: What? (just kidding, he didn’t say that but he would) She repeated her name and it was not Nipples (how shocking) it was NICKELS.


I told Gary this story later in the day and his response:

Gary: Know what her first name is?

Me: No, what?

Gary: Ophelia. Ophelia Nipples.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, aging parents, family, humor

The Sandwich Generation (hold the mayo)

Nice term, right? Wikipedia uses this definition: The Sandwich Generation are a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. Ahh, another baby boomer phenomenon! (nice pic, don’t you think. can someone name that meat for me, please?)

While I am happy to say I am not caring for my parents, I have certainly been helping to navigate their healthcare issues for the past few years. More from a support, research and admin point of view, as I am lucky to have very competent, educated parents. But the simultaneous pressures of aging parents and growing children has become a national dilemma that those of us who are lucky to still have parents at this age face day to day.

As you can tell by now, I like to find the humor in any situation to help me get through it. I have certainly been challenged over the past few years. Hmmm… which story to tell? How about this one:

My dad, the bionic man who is the healthiest sick guy I know, was going in to have his pacemaker upgraded. We liked to think of it as Harvey 2.0. My brother came up to lend support and stay with my mom. Upon arrival at the hospital, my mom is in tears. I figure she is worried. “Oh no”, my brother says over his shoulder while guiding her through the parking lot, “Dad just closed her fingers in the car door.” You MUST be kidding! But, alas, it gets worse. He turns around again to say “And she slipped in the shower and I have not yet assessed her injuries”. My first reaction was, “I left you with them for 24 hours and this is what you come up with?” Luckily he, too has a sense of humor.

Fast forward to the end of the day. We now have mom in the ER, she has broken her rib, hand was just bruised but they admit her to find out why she is falling. Dad? He is in recovery. Bro and I are huddled by the vending machines in the only cell phone zone in the friggin’ place and I watch him point and say, “There goes dad!” I turn to see my father in his gown (butt covered, thank goodness) with an IV poll searching for my mom in the ER. (where’s poppa?) Of course, while I am on a ridiculous business call (…yes, of course I heard your details of revision 19 of the brochure we are doing. no i am not distracted).

Did I mention my kids were home, dinner was not on the horizon for anyone and the poor dog is crossing her legs? And that by the end of the 5-day visit my brother was calling the local liquor store by its first name?

Sandwich indeed! (BTW mayo gives me indigestion)

For those of you who have your own brand of this story (and sadly this is just one of mine), I feel your pain. But we all have to realize how fortunate we are. Hard to understand this sometimes, but we truly ARE the lucky ones. Yes, there are hard times. But my kids, at 15 and 19 actually have all 4 grandparents. 

And that my friends is a gift.

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Filed under aging parents, family, humor, parenting