Showing posts from January, 2015

Bonds Between Mother and Child

“ Most people don ’ t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children and call that maturity.  What that is, is aging. ” -Maya Angelou It is important to know who we are. As funny as life it, we come into life needing our mother in an ongoing interplay to know we exist, we are loved, and who we are. We then spend a large part of our lives separating ourselves from our mothers to see ourselves clearly. We are ever connected to our mothers and yet separate from them. If we get too close, it is uncomfortable, and if we become too distanced, it is uncomfortable.  This year I am entwining stories and patient cases with memories of my father and his impact on my life personally and metaphorically. What comes to mind is the importance of our early years and how they impact us and our development in life. My father was his parent ’ s only child, and a child of the great Depression. Being born in 1927 he was a c-section baby

The Power of Biology and Belief

“ They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. ” - Andy Warhol Living through another person ’ s journey is a powerful experience. Last week I wrote about my journey and experience through a very small part of my father ’ s life. This journey could be witnessing the growth of your child, standing by a friend going through a difficult time, watching a loved one losing their mind, and so on. Through it all is a strand that connects every one of us …… our minds.  Our minds are mysterious. They are both what sets us apart, and what connects us all. We are learning so much about our brains and how they function and the biology of belief. Our brains are also amazing and powerful, and yet they are not the same as our minds. What is true is that as we believe something, everything in our mind and thoughts follows the belief; including our biology. An example of this phenomenon is with illness. I have seen people riddled with migraines for exampl


“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”                                                                                                          - John Green My father just visited. He was relocated to Denver by us, his children, last October. This was his first visit here since he relocated. I have gone to visit him a couple of times, but this was his first visit back home. This time, we needed to take him directly to the airline gate, and pick him up directly at the gate. He can no longer negotiate new spaces by himself. He is not the man he had been. He is in the throes of dementia. It is very weird and sad to be with the man I have always known as my father and find him in ways the same, and in ways so different. Gone is the quick wit; except for an occasional glimpse. Gone is the verbal sparring and manipulation he was so good at. As one of his patients said to me recently, he once had an IQ of around 180, and it is so strange to see how much of his mind is n

Breakfast With My Father Part II: Who Are We Anyway?

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking."                                                                                         - Albert Einstein         Rituals are an important aspect of our lives; or they can be. They could be as simple as saying a prayer before the dinner meal, or reading a bed time story to the children before sleep. In our family, it was breakfast together; mostly Sunday breakfasts. These rituals bring us something important. Often they are little nuggets we incorporate as a way of belonging with our families. For me, it was the time set aside to be together, away from the usual day to day life happenings. We would go out for Sunday breakfast, or when we were very young, it was the homemade banana pancakes as we sat and ate together. That was a time when our father wasn ’ t working and it was a time for us children, and us as a family.  Recently, we brought my father ba