• A Day in the Life,  Memories,  Writing

    Memorable Bananas | Day in the Life #10

    Ever notice how memories slip into the activities of our everyday lives? Things we don’t think of until something or someone triggers that long ago memory and it rushes to the forefront of our minds. Several years ago while caring for my mother, near the end of her life, I wanted to help get her to eat. She’d suffered another of several congestive heart failure episodes, and the nurses encouraged some fruit. I brought bananas, something I knew she enjoyed. Recently staff had begun mashing her food, so I mashed the bananas. Their aroma overwhelmed my senses. You know…that smell only a fresh banana has. As I continued mashing, I…

  • Creative Nonfiction,  Essay,  Writing

    On Turning 70, Joy in Writing, and Gratitude

    A NOTABLE BIRTHDAY   The prospect of reaching my eighth decade (in the minds of some aging, in other words) in February never bothered me. I looked on the process as part of my life cycle and enjoy catching up each year for a couple of months when my husband is only eight years older. Like most others, I celebrated this birthday with Bob and our son and his wife over dinner at a favorite restaurant with much chatter and laughter. Then we went our separate ways. It dawned on me in the next few days my husband would turn 79 in April, a year away from 80. That rocked…

  • Family History,  Memories,  Storytelling

    Nonfiction Essay with Bonus | 7 Tips for Preserving Family Memories

    Today I am sharing with you a recent experience which started my husband and me thinking. Thinking about family, memories, storytelling, and how to share that history with the next generation. On the Meyer side of our family, the work is somewhat up-to-date. But who will carry the torch after our generation is gone? Our generation is slipping away slowly one by one. What about your family history?   “She isn’t the sister I knew,” my husband says when he returns from driving his sister, Mary Ellen, home after lunch. I don’t know what to say. I understand what his words mean. I still don’t know what to say. This is the second sibling I have heard him make this comment about, the…

  • Book Review,  Memoir

    The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer’s by Jeanne Murray Walker | A Review

    Award-winning poet Jeanne Murray Walker tells an extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching tale of her mother’s long passage into dementia. This powerful story explores parental love, profound grief, and the unexpected consolation of memory. While Walker does not flinch from the horrors of “the ugly twins, aging and death,” her eye for the apt image provides a window into unexpected joy and humor even during the darkest days. This is a multi-layered narrative of generations, faith, and friendship. As Walker leans in to the task of caring for her mother, their relationship unexpectedly deepens and becomes life-giving. Her mother’s memory, which more and more dwells in the distant past,…