A Millennial’s Musings on Leaving the Nest … Again

At 32, I didn’t expect to move into my mom’s basement. I also didn’t expect to miss it so much, now that I’m gone. I wrote about my living situation in October. My boyfriend, Joe, and I were just back from Thailand, where I finished my master’s degree and he taught at a university. With our belongings locked in storage, we — yes, both of us — moved in with my mom while we searched for jobs and found our …

The Best Gift We Can Give Each Other (and It’s Free)

Growing up, we got our Christmas trees from Mr. Munro, the man who owned our house before us. He had studied horticulture in college and taught at a school for years. He owned a tree farm a few hours away from his home, so in his 70s, he decided to sell that home and move to the farm full time. My mom and dad were new to town and in their late 20s — sans kids and dog. Those would come later. …

‘Alzheimer’s Stole Her’: Changing Our Narrative About Dementia

My grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s disease for years. And for years, my family and I would say things like: “Alzheimer’s stole her from us.” “She’s not herself now.” “She’s a shell of who she was.” That’s our cultural narrative about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia — that it’s the aggressor. It has power over us, we say. It can take away our loved ones right before our eyes. If we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of them …

Meeting Older Adults Where They Are

The other day, one of Arthur’s former students commented on an interview we did months ago with Eileen Fuentes, founder of The SPEACH: I was lucky enough to be one of Arthur’s students at Hofstra in 72-73. In addition to basic Freshman English he taught a lecture course in the history of American Musical Theatre. I didn’t always agree with him but admired his passion for the subject… Please send him my warmest regards and thanks. I called Arthur immediately. “A …

Having My FaceTime With Arthur

I didn’t know what to expect from my long-distance friendship with Arthur – but it wasn’t this. It’s been three months since I moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to small-town Ohio for grad school. It was tough telling friends I was leaving, especially Arthur, who had come to rely on my Friday visits. Several weeks before the move date, I called our social worker Sasha at DOROT to strategize about how to break the news. “When do you think I should …

The Beginning of a Beautiful (Long-Distance) Friendship

One Friday last month, I finally broke my news to Arthur. “I have something I need to tell you,” I said, taking a deep breath. “I’m going to graduate school.” “That’s great!” “For gerontology.” “To study old people?” “Yep. And it’s in Ohio.” “Ohio?!” That’s the part I had been nervous about – telling him I’m leaving New York. Apart from his time in the Navy and a year sabbatical in China, Arthur has lived in New York his whole …