When Sparkler Moments Happen

sparkler dementia caregiving

Remember childhood 4th of July celebrations where we ran about the yard waving lighted sparklers, watching the play of brilliant light against a summer twilight? The caution against burning ourselves juxtaposed against our brief joy of racing with bright lights. We were fixed in the moment. Then the time came when the sparkler in your hand finally ran down to sputter out those last few arcs of light before the warm darkness closed around us again.

Caregiving also has its moments of brief brilliant light, full of joy, and with a definitive closure at the end. Wondrous to experience. Bittersweet to remember.

Continue reading “When Sparkler Moments Happen”


A Sense of Humor Goes a Long Way in This Business

sense of humor caregiver

My friend makes me laugh.

She has her hands full in caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s. Neither of them is having an especially easy time of it (who does?) but they cope. She still finds the time to make me laugh. Continue reading “A Sense of Humor Goes a Long Way in This Business”

Growing Up With Disappointment

disappointment caregiver caregiving

When I was a child, the harshest admonition my father could ever invoke was that he was disappointed in me. No amount of threats, groundings, or other punishments could carry the weight of his disappointment.

He knew it too.

Like so many other things I carried into my adult life, disappointment has played a role. This time though, it was I who was disappointed in myself and I needed to get a handle on that.

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The Long Disconnect

Like many caregivers, I started losing Dad over a period of years prior to his passing. By the time he actually died, it was hard to feel grief. I had already grieved his leaving but the guilt over not feeling something was still very disconcerting. Like so many other feelings, this one just resolved over time. I think much of the healing was in finding out how common those emotions are among caregivers.

Anger, on the other hand, was not an emotion I had anticipated this long after his passing and I really had to work at resolving it. Continue reading “The Long Disconnect”