Monday, March 19, 2012

"How Did I Get Here?"

In the car, driving on Tyson Avenue, coming back from the doctor.

 "How did I get here?" Dad asked.

 "Where? Tyson Avenue? I didn't want to take Bustleton the whole way," I said.

"No, to this place I'm at," Dad said.

 Ah, a more existential "How did I get here," coupled with memory loss. He meant how did he wind up in an assisted living home.

 "Well, you were having trouble with the steps in your house. You kept winding up in the hospital for your tube and bag (catheter). You fell down the steps. You weren't eating right. And you didn't like being alone," I answered.

 I left out the part about him being robbed in the middle of the night.

"Oh, I see," he said.

 "You were very stubborn," I told him. "You didn't want to leave your house. You told me 'They are gonna have to carry me out of here!'"

 "I did?" he asked.

 "Oh yes," I said. "You did. But you like where you are. You like your room and TV and the meals and the nurses."

 "That's true," he said.

 "It was just hard getting you there," I said.

 "I am sorry about all that," Dad said. "I'll remember you in heaven," he joked.

"That's good, Dad, but while you are up there, send me some winning lottery numbers, too," I said. "That would be a bigger help."

"I'll see what I can do," Dad said.

Life As A Sandwich

Here is an essay I wrote for "Rowan Glassworks," the graduate literary magazine at Rowan University. It's about being part of the "sandwich generation" - women who care for their young children as well as their elderly parents. My essay starts on Page 9:



They asked the writers to reflect on their essays:
 
"Life as a Sandwich" My essay, "Life As a Sandwich," came out of my daily experience caring for my young son and my elderly father. The phrase "sandwich generation" is often bandied about as an apt description for those of us who care for children and parents at the same time. I remember thinking to myself: "This is a rotten sandwich."I just re-read the essay and am struck how honest and blunt I was. That is how I am as a journalist, but I usually write about things from my own life with a veil of humor. I am glad this essay came out as raw as it did. Clearly, I needed to say it. And people in my life needed to hear it.

An Open Letter

To Rutgers-Camden I wrote this essay for WHYY/Newsworks a few weeks ago about the proposed merger between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan Universities. The Newsworks editor already had an essay from a Rutgers-Camden prof. He needed one from a Rowan prof and asked a fellow journalist friend if she knew anyone to write it. I volunteered to do so.

Boy, was that a mistake!

I learned two things: The faculty at Rutgers-Camden are too angry to appreciate my sense of humor and they don't appreciate the word "cooties." Oh and a couple of the faculty are jerks. That is the third thing.

Well, you can read all that in the comments below the essay. However, I like the essay and am proud of it. I meant everything I said and I was a lone Rowan voice in all this anti-merger furor. There was a legislative hearing today about the merger. Maybe we will all know something soon.