Op-Ed

15 03, 2017

Cosmic Celebration

March 15th, 2017|Blog|

About twenty years ago I wrote the following for a friend of mine on the celebration of his daughter's first birthday. Now, every year  on her birthday, they read the card together. Welcome to a single star system on the inner rim of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the remarkable planet [...]

1 03, 2017

Dementia Contagion (“Second-Hand” Dementia)

March 1st, 2017|Ambient Despair, Assisted Living, Blog, Op-Ed|

Clinical depression is a monster like no other. Today, on my 5,502nd consecutive day (15.07 years) of assisted living in three separate communities I collectively call home, I split a Reuben with Beth, a fellow resident trying to make sense of the world around her. But making sense becomes more difficult every day for Beth [...]

19 11, 2016

The Accidental Advocate

November 19th, 2016|Blog|

I never set out to be an activist. It was never offered as a life option on a social profile or a check-box in a divine master plan. Yet, there I was -- deboarding a flight at Dulles International from New York and hailing a cab to the Pentagon for a meeting with the Adjutant [...]

9 10, 2016

You Can’t Understand . . .

October 9th, 2016|Blog|

You can't understand the PROFUNDITY OF DYING until you've shared the experience of watching life slip away from you and/or a fellow human being. You can't imagine the UNIQUE LONELINESS that comes from losing a spouse until, at bedtime, you lay down without them for the first time in 45 years. You have no idea [...]

21 09, 2016

JC and Me

September 21st, 2016|Blog|

It’s the kind of summer night that magnolias compete with the smell of ball park hotdogs and the high-pitched drone of cicadas is everywhere. After nine innings of softball, I decide to cut through the park on the walk home. The shortcut not only allows me to stop at the Tastee Freeze, but also knocks [...]

21 09, 2016

Soul Mate

September 21st, 2016|Blog|

I first hear about "The Blessed One" as a graduate student. "A holy man from India," was how Felix -- fellow student and best friend at MIT -- first described the 60-something engineer."He's got crazy wisdom. You'll love him." I agree to meet the two of them for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Harvard [...]

11 09, 2016

Taking a Good, Stiff, Memory Dump

September 11th, 2016|Blog|

"When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." -- Paul Simon, Kodachrome.   Plague -- infectious fever caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis, a bacterium transmitted from rodents to humans by the bite of infected fleas -- was the cause of some of the [...]

24 08, 2016

If You Can’t Take the Heat

August 24th, 2016|Blog|

Six years ago, as a resident of an assisted living facility in Pennsylvania, I awoke at 2:00 one bitterly-cold morning to the unmistakable, eye-watering, nasal-stinging, throat constricting smell of burning rubber and electrical wiring. Fire! Someone had inadvertently placed greasy kitchen rags in the industrial dryer and the laundry room was now fully involved in [...]

23 06, 2016

Five Thousand, Two-Hundred, Fifty-Three [5,253]

June 23rd, 2016|Blog|

This week, an epiphany of sorts. For the 100th + time, I heard someone refer to an Assisted Living Facility as 'God's waiting room'. It wasn't funny the first time I heard it and it's not . . . Hey, wait a minute. There's some truth to this quip. Just enough to drive home a [...]

24 02, 2016

Derek Rosseau, (Manor) Care Ambassador

February 24th, 2016|Blog|

Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Golden Age I was recently hospitalized in three Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) for a triad of 2-3 week short-term, rehab admissions. One of those communities was Manor Care, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was here that I met a CNA who reinvigorated my opinion of mankind-in-general, and caregivers, specifically. Derek [...]