NOT just for hospice!

It gripes my soul how many of the techniques that I used to keep Mom happy, healthy & humming along after a nasty health crisis at 85 finally derailed her health from 5 stars to 4 is typically relegated to being for hospice care.  Argh!

Massage was a big part of her later & last years.  How is it possible that so-called medical professionals found it in any way suspect, especially for hospice patients?!

Everyone has a story – Brene Brown link

It’s over a month old, but I finally feel like I can share Brene’s blog post responding to Anthony Bourdain & Kate Spade taking their lives.

The entire posting is invaluable, hits on so many delicate & important points for us all, whatever our age situation circumstance to remember & remember & remember, but if all you read are these nuggets, you will be well served:

You would think the universal nature of struggle would make it easier for all of us to ask for help, but in a culture of scarcity and perfectionism, there can still be so much shame around reaching out, especially if we’re not raised to understand the irreducible nature of human need.

We can encourage our children to ask for help; however, if they don’t see us reaching out for support and modeling that behavior, they will instead attach value to never needing help.

We also send strong messages to the people around us – including our children, friends, and employees – when they do ask for help, and in return, we treat them differently, as if they are now less reliable, competent, or productive…

To know pain is human. To need is human. And, no amount of money, influence, resources, or sheer determination will change our physical, emotional, and spiritual dependence on others.


Timing is everything – in food & life!

It’s about time researchers start drawing us back into the natural rhythms of life, but electric lights & temperature control are seriously messing with our bodies & minds.

Snippets:   Scientists have long known that the human body has a master clock in the brain, located in the hypothalamus, that governs our sleep-wake cycles in response to bright light exposure. A couple of decades ago, researchers discovered that there is not just one clock in the body but a collection of them. Every organ has an internal clock that governs its daily cycle of activity.

“We’re designed to have 24-hour rhythms in our physiology and metabolism. These rhythms exist because, just like our brains need to go to sleep each night to repair, reset and rejuvenate, every organ needs to have down time to repair and reset as well.”

Dozens of studies demonstrate that blood sugar control is best in the morning and at its worst in the evening. We burn more calories and digest food more efficiently in the morning as well.

While studies suggest that eating earlier in the day is optimal for metabolic health, it does not necessarily mean that you should skip dinner. It might, however, make sense to make your dinners relatively light. One group of researchers in Israel found in studies that overweight adults lost more weight and had greater improvements in blood sugar, insulin and cardiovascular risk factors when they ate a large breakfast, modest lunch and small dinner compared to the opposite: A small breakfast and a large dinner. Dr. Peterson said it confirms an age-old adage: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Humana & hospice – good fit for consumers?

Interesting article in today’s NY Times on Humana, following the money, positioning itself to be a mega hospice provider.  If you can’t access online, get thee to a library.  Borrow a friend’s.  Check out your local coffee shop for a copy.   Whatever you do, read it!  Intriguing, a tad disquieting.

See also:



John Kotre nails it! “For wisdom to operate in old age…”

For wisdom to operate in old age, it must blend with the world of youth.  It must be open to the knowledge  & innovations of succeeding generations.  ~ John Kotre ~

I’ve seen what happens when olders elders ancients have regular access to a cross-section of ages with whom they are comfy cozy discussing interesting things & I’ve seen what happens with those who don’t.  It’s in no way a scientific cross-section, not even close to objective, but I’ve seen both enough times to know the wisdom of John Kotre’s words.

He went on to emphasize this is especially true with technology, where the capabilities are so vast & change is the norm.  Mom kept up-to-date through me & my friends, other older amigos keep active on tablets & smart phones thanks as much to grandchildren then their kids.  Being computer literate is the secondary blessing – the first is the connection between teacher & student and how often a session of accessing information turns into opportunities to share/glean wisdom.  Think of a generation ago, a grandmother sharing stories with as she showed how to stitch together a skirt or bake a peach pie, a grandfather spending a leisurely afternoon showing how to attach a fly to a fishing rod or use a drill.

How do we blend the generations when children live a distance?  When an older never married or has not children, no younger relatives?  What off-the-wall, out-of-the-box ideas are itching to be tried out, social experiments in nurturing, presenting, honoring wisdom waiting to be set in motion?



Power of MEMOIR

My mother didn’t leave much in the way of money or treasures ~ ~ she was like one of those old contests, where you had to be present to win.  But she did leave behind a priceless legacy in the series of e-mails sent to an ever-increasing dist list of friends & loved ones.

Her bequest – Mindwalker1910, written from February 2000 to September 2001 – wasn’t planned.  Originally, she was just connecting with two online discussions on dear-to-her-heart church matters.  As their questions & comments came in, she slowly awoke to the fact she had things that only she could say, memories only she could share, with people who wanted – longed – to hear them.

My brothers & sister were not on her dist list.  They were not happy with what she was doing.  One brother told her that at 90 it was natural for her to want to meander through past years, but no one was interested – if she wanted to share such memories, she should limit them to the family & not others who were too polite to say they were boring.

Instead of getting in a huff or – worse – taking Mike’s suggestion to heart, Mom put it out to her readers ~ ~  just let her know to take them off his distribution list & she (I) would make it so.  The deluge of responses begging her to NEVER strike them from her list, telling her how much her reminiscences, her comments & commentaries meant to them.

It is to weep that I’ve never been able to rouse older friends to do write down their family stories, going back to their little kid days, their impressions of past  & current events, their hopes & dreams from days gone by & what stretches out ahead.

Praise be for an article on about a memoir by JEAN OLIVER LAWLER, ultimately a self-published book for her 12 grandchildren.  YES!  For years, I’ve tried – without success – to get older friends to write their own memoirs, only to be told, “My children don’t care.”  Thanks to Mike & Peter & Mim, I can lean in & agree, adding, “But your grandchildren will!”

Where I failed to get olders elders ancients to share their lives, thoughts, experiences, am hoping Making a Memoir a Reality helps set their sense of the possible roiling.

Jean Oliver Lawler was triply blessed ~ ~ she was open to sharing her life stories, had a friend who encouraged & helped, and offspring with great writing chops.

When her efforts stalled, the article’s author – her writer/editor son, Edmund – lent his loving support.  Perhaps best of all, she had a granddaughter who shared her uncle’s writing & editing gifts, coached & critiqued her grandmother & kept begging for more.

My own experiences with Mom, who dictated as I transcribed her unintended memoirs, tells me that her son & granddaughter will always hold dear in their hearts the time spent helping their mother/grand put stories to paper & print.   Heartfelt thanks to Lorraine & Edmund & Moira and above all to Jean transforming memories into memoir.  May many more be inspired & do the same!