The Heroes Who Care for Our Heroes

As the Fourth of July approaches, Americans from coast to coast are preparing for barbecues, parades and fireworks as we celebrate our country’s birthday — and our independence. At this time of year, I like to take a moment to recognize our patriots — the veterans who have fought to keep our country safe and free. I also think about another group of heroes, the family caregivers — spouses, parents, siblings, adult children and others — who care for our …

A Caregiver’s Guide to Staying Sane

“How do you stay sane?” That’s the question a reporter asked me recently at the National Press Foundation after a talk I gave about being a family caregiver. As blunt as it sounds, it was a very good question. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I have been caregiving for nearly 35 years, the past six at a very intensive level. During that time I’ve worked full time; traveled a great deal; written two books; maintained a long-distance …

Bard Revisited

Readers everywhere, myself included, laughed, cried and just plain enjoyed Al Martinez’s wonderfully written and insightful blogs. Al’s wife, Joanne, now shares memories of the more than 65 years she and “The Bard of L.A.” spent together. Sometimes an ordinary moment transforms into a pivotal one. So it was when my husband, Al Martinez, met an imaginary field of daffodils. More than seven decades before he passed away in January, Al and his fellow fourth-graders were supposed to give speeches. Al …

Pop’s Critical Role as Caregiver During Mom’s Brain Surgery

This weekend we all had the opportunity to celebrate our fathers. As I remembered my Pop — a funny, hardworking, unselfish man — I thought about his devotion to my mom, especially during their later lives when he was her primary caregiver. He shouldered huge responsibilities that I think weighed heavily on his mind. I remembered the time, several days before Mom had brain surgery, Pop opened his wallet and handed me a small piece of paper. “It’s the anesthesia …

On Father’s Day, Let’s Show Black Men They Matter

The more I witness the vast gap between how some folks live in this country, the more I am grateful that I grew up in North Philadelphia with a strong father, mother and family. I am grateful for the close-knit group of neighbors, and the values and strength of folks — like my parents — who stared down hard times. And yes, on Father’s Day, I am especially thankful for my dad, the late Eugene Albert Kane Sr., a construction worker …

‘Selma’ on DVD — Take Movie Night to a New Level

A few months ago, I encouraged everyone to enjoy black history year round. Well, here’s a great opportunity now that the movie Selma is available on DVD. Visit AARP Black Community » This is a chance to continue supporting a powerful black film, but there are dozens of activities we can organize to make it a rich educational and cultural experience. Some suggestions: Hold a movie night to discuss and teach the millennials in our families the principles of nonviolence. Watch …