The Marksmanship Medal

I fell in love with the Instagram account @thekeepthings when my friend Casey Mulligan Walsh had a piece published there about her dad's shaving brush. Immediately I wanted to write about my dad's marksmanship medal, which I discovered in a drawer after his death, but somehow, I never got around to doing it. [...]

By |October 5th, 2023|Categories: Remembrance, Remembrance 2|0 Comments

“Where I’m From” — A Poem, A Process, A Conversation

My writer friend Alyson Shelton invited her Instagram followers to share poems created from the prompt, "Where I'm From," based on George Ella Lyon's poem with that title. I read mine live on Instagram as part of her weekly series, and I'm sharing the text below. You can also watch a recording here. [...]

By |April 5th, 2022|Categories: Remembrance, Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Mentor’s Legacy

A dear mentor and friend died unexpectedly last week, and I was very sorry to be unable to attend her funeral yesterday. For 22 years that included my young adult and parenting stages, Rosemary Conrad was the director of religious education at Bellarmine Parish. Our relationship began with a simple [...]

Remarkable Woman Rediscovered

Just in time for remembrance of the dead throughout November, I was introduced to the fascinating life of Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi (pronounced ReGEEna YOnas). She was honored as part of a program on women rabbis I attended last week at our nearby Jewish Community Center. Although ordained [...]

Yahrzeit — An Anniversary of Death

Yesterday was the third anniversary of my mother-in-law, Ruth's, death, and I had previously decided to mark it as a personal feast day.  "Yahrzeit" is the Jewish term for this occasion, typically observed according to the Hebrew calendar.  Their practices include lighting a candle at home, attending synagogue services, visiting [...]

Call Me Al

My heart is filled with joy and gratitude at the conclusion of my father's funeral rites today.  The visitation last evening brought many fond reminiscences, and it was so gratifying to hear how others valued my dad through the years.  This morning's funeral liturgy was just beautiful in every way, [...]

Father’s Day 2013

This piece became even more meaningful after my dad's death two days after the events described here.  The usual tremor of anxiety accompanies arrival at the nursing home. Parking the car, signing in, marks a crossing into the unknown. Will you be sleeping? Wandering about? Staring at the television?  Once [...]

By |June 19th, 2013|Categories: Elder care, Remembrance|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

Making Memories

This week we moved my father from an assisted living to a skilled nursing facility, and the process was not unlike sending a kid to camp or off to college -- making sure he brings the proper supplies and clothing and that each is labeled with his name, acquiring decorative [...]

All the Saints

The custom of remembering the dead during November as the leaves turn and the light fades, continues to resonate from my Catholic background. To observe this time of year, my husband and I like to recollect our personal saints through a pilgrimage to local cemeteries where our relatives are buried, [...]

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