At six months short of my sixtieth birthday I have a six pack. Well, practically. I can see the ripples of muscle more clearly than I ever had before even if they are covered in a small layer of post C-section, well-past menopause fat. The muscles are discernible. My arms are strong, too, the bat wings of old age less distressing than they might be. My legs can carry me… Read More »At Six Months Shy of Sixty, A Six Pack
I figure I have maybe fifteen good years left. That’s an odd thing to have to wrap your head around but when your grandmother and mother were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in their early to middle seventies it is an inescapable fact. It took me some years to just wrestle with my mother’s diagnosis and realize my grandmother’s “senile dementia” was the same thing before I began to think about… Read More »Do I Want to Know if I’ll Get Alzheimer’s?
I am doing nothing. I am doing so much nothing that I have wrapped a cocoon of nothing around myself so as to make the doing of nothing easier and less stressful. I am at a writers’ and artists’ colony and have two weeks in which to do nothing — except my work, which is not nothing, but is the kind of nothing that I haven’t had much time to… Read More »I Am Doing Nothing!
I want my mean, bitchy, drunk mother back. The mother who was depressed and melancholy, who said cruel things about my work and criticized my parenting, who undermined instructions to my kids by saying “You really don’t have to pay attention to her.” I want the mother back who invited herself to my first apartment and then pitched screaming fits in the streets of Boston. The woman who threatened to… Read More »I Want My Mother Back
Five years ago, right before her seventy-eighth birthday, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The symptoms had been apparent for several years but alcohol masked some of them and denial, perhaps, masked others. Once my mother finally entered a rehabilitation facility and was no longer drinking, it became obvious that something was seriously wrong. Within weeks my sisters and I had cleaned out and sold her house and moved her… Read More »Do I Want to Know if I Will Come Down with Alzheimers?
There are post-it notes all over my mother’s room at the assisted living place where she has lived since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the summer of 2005. She loves post-it notes. She likes them in bright colors like hot pink and green. Some of them have her name on them: A Note From…. She has always like post-it notes—they used to accompany the many newspaper and magazine articles she… Read More »Note: Call Doctor Re Memory & Knowledge Loss. Terrified.
Salon..com http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/05/19/kramer_dirt/index.html recently ran an article and an interview with the editor of a new book of essays I am included in, called DIRT: Writers on the Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House. In the article the writer says that “The most interesting essays in the collection are the ones that show how dirt sifts into the cracks of our closest relationships, standing in for everything that we do… Read More »DIRT
I had this admittedly crazy idea to fly up north and fly with my mother back down to my small Virginia town so that she could spend a couple of days with me, see my teenaged daughter whom she hasn’t seen since this summer when we went up to celebrate her 80th birthday, see my 21-year-old son whom she hasn’t seen in a few years, and do a small pre-… Read More »My Mother Has Already Forgotten Thanksgiving