This week I celebrated my aunt’s ninety-fifth birthday with her by doing a couple of her favorite things…eating pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut and going to the park. She’s my mom’s younger sister and they were just a year a part in age. Although I’ve always been close to my aunt and spent as much time with her as possible, since mom passed away a year ago at the age of ninety-five, I’ve been making even more of an effort to see her.

I love my aunt whole-heartedly, and being with her reminds me of happy childhood memories, and makes me feel a little closer to my mom. Until a couple of months ago, however, I never imagined how much time I would be spending with her.

At the age of 63 years old, she married for the first time. Thirty-two years later, she and her ninety-one year old husband seemed to be doing okay. But, recently it’s become evident they can no longer live alone. They both have mobility issues that are getting worse daily. Her husband has become incontinent, and a fall which required a week in the hospital for him a little over two months ago, brought the declining situation to the forefront. Now, we must figure out the next steps.

Anyone who has read my past posts will know I was a caregiver for my mom for six years. It was a labor of love, filled with the lowest of lows, and also the most rewarding highs. I wouldn’t trade the time I spent with my mom the last few years of her life here on earth for anything in the world.

But, do I have the stamina and mindset to do it all over again for someone else on a full time basis, no matter who they are, or how much I love them?


I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster over this decision, and have shed numerous tears. I’ve prayed for guidance and asked everyone I know for advice. But, the answer is always the same…I just don’t think I can do it again. Not this soon after losing mom, at least. I can only pray my mom understands.

Since all this started at the beginning of May, my uncle’s daughter (my aunt’s daughter-in-law) has been coming from her home three hours away and staying for extended periods of time, while I go back and forth from my home forty miles away. Friends, and one of my uncle’s half-sisters, have been trying to fill in the gaps. It’s been a horribly difficult situation for everyone.

We had hoped to put them in an assisted living together, but our country’s elderly people are put in a hopeless situation if they own any property, no matter how worthless, or if they have any amount of money in the bank. It’s been a real eye-opening experience learning how the system works for senior citizens who are not wealthy enough to afford to live in retirement communities or nursing homes. For seniors in a lower income bracket, there are virtually no options.

My aunt and uncle own a couple of rundown properties that have literally no value, but because they have any sort of property, they would have to pay full price to live in an assisted living facility. The least expensive place we’ve found is $9,300 a month for each of them ($18,600 total monthly charge) and it’s one of the worst rated nursing homes in the country. For monetary reasons alone we cannot even consider this as an option if we wanted to, which we don’t.

Until we figure out a long-term solution, and while we are still caring for them at their home, we’ve been trying to clean out their house as much as possible in preparation of whatever the future holds for them. Two yard sales, numerous trips to the dump and many donations to the second-hand store have not even made a dent in all the possessions they have collected through the years. If you read one of my previous blog posts entitled, Worldly Possessions, you will understand why this is difficult for me to go through again.

I’ve also been trying to get my aunt’s affairs in order. To my shock and dismay, I learned she isn’t eligible to collect Social Security benefits, because she never worked at a job that paid into Social Security, so her only source of income is from her husband’s retirement. While trying to get some sort of benefits for her, I learned she didn’t have Medicare or even an ID card.

Thankfully, I’ve managed to get her an ID card, but she can’t sign up for Medicare benefits until the enrollment period in the fall. I can’t believe she’s been living without medical insurance for all these years. I cringe thinking about what would have happened if she’d ever had a serious medical issue. I’ve helped her to buy a cemetery plot next to her younger brother’s grave, and close to where her parent’s are buried. This has made her so happy to know she will have a familiar resting place when her time comes.

I am now painfully aware of what happens to seniors when they don’t have someone to help them. It’s a frustrating and complicated process just to talk to a person on the phone about any sort of benefits, fill out the paperwork, file taxes, update documents, and everything else that is required for a person to be able to receive money, services, and benefits that are legally owed to them. For some elderly folks, these are daunting tasks that they can’t even begin to keep up with as their minds, hearing, sight and bodies begin to fail. It’s a sad and tragic reality for many older people who are alone.

I guess my main purpose for writing this blog post is to ask anyone who reads it to think about the senior citizens in your life. Maybe one of them needs someone they can trust to make sure their legal documents are in order, and all possible options are considered before a life-changing decision has to be made. It might seem like a simple gesture, but it can make a world of difference.


N.N. Light’s Book Heaven Celebrate Audiobook Month

Are you an audiobook addict? June is audiobook month and there’s a huge event going on at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Celebrate Audiobook Month. 34 audiobooks featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My audiobook, Superstition, will be featured on June 10, 2021. Wait until you listen to my audiobook clip. My narrator nails the characters and I’m so proud of it. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:


Within the walls of the house where I grew up, resides an abundance of happy memories. But, of course, we had our share of sad ones, too. My parents built their house in the late nineteen fifties, partly from recycled wood they obtained from an abandoned building that was being torn down in our hometown. My little brother, Mike, and I created endless adventures and a fun-filled childhood in our cozy home. It truly was so much more than just a house. To us, it was a castle.

For over six decades there were constant gatherings with friends and family, as well as every type of joyful or sorrowful event a family encounters throughout the years. I was married on the front deck of my parent’s house in 1980. Mike passed away in that house in 2002. We watched my parents grow old and frail in the home they worked so hard to create. Five years ago, my dad left his beloved home for the last time, and recently, my mom joined him in their Heavenly home.

With both of my parents gone, the difficult decision was made to sell this cherished family home. I knew it was the right thing to do. But, selling also meant removing everything from the house and the grounds. I was not prepared for the avalanche of emotions and despair that would also accompany this enormous undertaking.

Decades of living and reminiscences of all aspects of their lives occupied every drawer, every closet, hung on the walls and adorned every piece of furniture. Each little memento I picked up, or every small piece of paper, reminded me of an event from my past. All the decisions I had to make about what to do with every object were made with tears of despair.

I wanted to keep everything. There were handwritten grocery lists in either mom’s or dad’s handwriting. File cabinets filled with papers they had saved for one reason or another. Old newspaper articles and hundreds of pictures of family members, friends and people I didn’t know. Countless souvenirs from trips they’d taken over the course of the sixty-six years they were married were tucked away wherever there was space. And, of course, all the childhood keepsakes from my brother, my children and myself. Plus, eight rooms of furniture, artwork, dining and kitchen essentials, and everything else that accumulates in the course of lives fully lived for so many years.

To my parents, all the possessions in their home had a meaning, and were important or treasured. To me, they were things linking me to the family members I’d lost and loved so very dearly and missed every single day. Realistically, I knew I couldn’t hold on to everything. There was actually very little I was able to keep. I hoped my children and adult grandchildren would take most of the items. But, like myself, they all have houses overflowing with things they have chosen and purchased for themselves. With the exception of some paintings, a few dishes and some unique pieces of art, the used furnishings and most of my parent’s older things had no appeal to them. And, I completely understood.

So, began the hard task of tossing away, selling, or donating all the things I was not able to cram into my storage unit or tuck away in the already-crowded corners of my own home. One day was especially difficult as I watched the enormous dining room table and chairs being hauled away in the back of a stranger’s truck. So many family dinners, holiday feasts, birthday celebrations, serious conversations and life-changing decisions had been shared around that heavy wooden table, while sitting in those matching chairs. Tears were shed daily as more pieces of furniture or boxes of household goods were hauled away.

Another difficult task was letting go of a gigantic houseplant my mom had inherited from her mother when she and my dad were first married. We estimated the plant to be close to a hundred years old. It had taken over an entire corner and half of two walls in my parent’s large dining room. When it bloomed, the exquisite blossoms were a brilliant shade of pink and hung like colossal bunches of grapes from the branches. Mom and dad loved this massive angel wing begonia, and even though all of us felt the same emotion for this beautiful plant, none of us had room enough for a potted plant of this immense size. After getting cuttings for everyone who wanted a starter, I gifted the original plant to a very dear family friend who had an entire room dedicated to her beloved plants, and also had room for our huge begonia. We knew she would care for it and love it as much as our family had for so many years. It took a U-haul truck and four people to move this mammoth plant, and I’m not going to lie, saying goodbye to another living thing from my parent’s home was extremely difficult.

My dad was exceptionally proud of their lovely yard. Every spare second he had in the summer was spent working in the numerous flower gardens, mowing the grass, and caring for the forty-nine trees he and mom had planted in the past six decades. He could tell you every variety of tree, and where they had gotten each one of them. All of the pines, aspens, willows and cottonwoods had started out as a branch or two from a tree from down by the river that flows below the house, or from one of our many favorite campsites in the wilderness where we had camped throughout the years. So, not only is it amazing how they had all grown to be so towering and lush, but they are also associated with lots of fun family camp trips and an endless source of happy memories.

Unlike the rest of trees, Dad’s two apple trees came from a local nursery, and were particularly spectacular. Standing side by side on the southern edge of the yard, they became heavily-laden with juicy red and golden fruit at the end of the summer season. As well as snacking on these sweet delights, Mom and I would bake apple pies, apple cobbler, make apple wine, apple everything until we were baked out or the apples ran out…whatever came first. When I picked several bushels last summer and baked my usual abundance of apple treats, I had no idea it would be the last time we would be enjoying the scrumptious fruits of these very special trees.   

Not one day of the month I spent doing this emotionally-filled task was conducted without a barrage of tears. I came away depressed and saddened by the entire experience. And, the month since finishing this heart-wrenching task has been spent trying to get past these deep feelings of loss. It’s an extension of the grief I felt when my family members passed away, and I know everyone has to go through something similar to what I’ve experienced when they lose their parents or loved ones. Each thing you do after someone passes, having a memorial, donating or giving away their belongings, selling their home, etc., etc., is supposed to be closure so we, the living, can move on. I understand this circle of life theory. But, for me, the reality of letting go has not been so easy.

As I look around at my own home full of all the items I’ve lovingly collected and accumulated in my lifetime, I realize now that most of it will only be stuff my children and grandchildren will probably have to get rid of when I’m gone. I hope for their sakes, they are able to let go of all my baggage more easily than I have been to do with my parent’s things. Because, now I realize there is something much more valuable than all this ‘stuff’.

As this difficult experience is finally in the rear-view mirror, and my childhood home now belongs to a new family with young children who will undoubtedly fill it with another lifetime full of happy memories, I have been reminded of something my sorrow had made me forget for a time  Those boxes of old keepsakes I saved from my parent’s home aren’t the real treasures. What really matters is what I will always have stored in my heart…the cherished recollections of the beautiful life I shared with my parents and little brother, the invaluable lessons they taught me by way of their integrity and strength, and above all, the unconditional love they bestowed upon me every moment of every day we spent together. There are no worldly possessions that can even begin to compare to this kind of wealth.

The last bushel of apples I picked from my dad’s apple trees.


My beautiful mom passed away three weeks ago today at the age of ninety-five. She had lived a good long, but hard, life. Her strength amazed me. Without a doubt, she was the strongest and most compassionate woman I have, or will ever, know.

She was the sole reason my little brother lived a happy life for forty-four years when the doctors told my parents to put him in an institution when he was born with a rare disease call Hallermann-Streiff syndrome. Numerous specialist said he’d never see, walk, talk or live more than a few months or years at most. They said caring for him would be impossible, especially since she already had me to raise. Mom didn’t even consider their dire predictions. She was going love and take care of her tiny frail son for as long as he was on this earth, and she never gave up on him.

Through her strength and determination, mom worked with my little brother every day to build up the muscles in his legs. He was walking by the time he was fourteen months. Then, he was talking up a storm a few months later. By the grace of God, he could see with limited vision, so he wasn’t completely blind. He brought so much joy to our family with his quick wit and sweet compassionate nature. I shudder to think what would have happened to him if our mom hadn’t had the courage to follow her heart. I guess she showed everyone what a truly strong woman is capable of doing.

But her strength, courage and love was a blessing to everyone. When she was a teenager, her dad was killed in a coalmine explosion. It was during WWII and her three older brothers were at war. As the oldest child at home, mom dropped out of school and went to work at the local drugstore to help support her mom and five younger siblings.

After she married the love of her life–my dad–who was pretty incredible in his own right, she helped him start a business they would own and operate for forty-five years. Those early years would be more than a little difficult, because money was short most of the time. Dad worked seven days a week to keep the business afloat, and mom was pretty much left alone to take care of everything disabled brother, me and our home, as well as book keeping, and all of the office work for their business.

I recall her telling me how she used to run the household and feed our family of four on less than forty dollars a week. But, neither my little brother or I had any idea how tough times were, because she made sure we had all we needed, which included enough love and care so that we never realized we were poor. I’m sure this is something my mom learned from her own mother. She told me they were dirt poor when she was growing up in the depression era. But as a child she was never aware of it, because her parents never let them go hungry and their home was so filled with love they never felt they were doing without anything.

As for me personally, well, she was the mom who showed me unconditional love no matter how much I screwed my life up. She was constantly there for me no mattered what I needed. After I was divorced, she was always there for my children (and later, for her great-grandchildren), too. I have no doubt she gave up many things she wanted, so we never went without anything.

After my beloved dad passed away four and a half years ago, I knew it was my turn to be there for her. Not only had my dad’s last wish been for me to take care of mom and not put her in a nursing home, but I felt this was a way I could repay a very small part of everything both of my parent’s had done for me. I really had no idea how hard caregiving would be, or how the next few years would affect my life forever.

I won’t lie, there were times during the past four years when I wanted to run away from the commitment I had made to care for my mom. We’re both equally as hard-headed, and we fought about everything. We hadn’t lived together for decades before I became her caregiver and now we were two stubborn old ladies trying to tell each other what to do. It was hard, but then it became even more difficult.

Dementia changed mom, and it changed me. She was scared of everything, and distrustful of everyone, even me. She was angry and I became angry. Every morning she wanted to know why she was still alive. She’d ask me why God was mad at her and wouldn’t let her be with dad and my little bother in Heaven? She accused me of everything from stealing her stuff to poisoning her food. She became very child-like. It was awful. We were both so miserable. Mom was so unhappy because of her growing state of confusion, and the constant pain from a bad knee that couldn’t be operated on because of her age. I was depressed because I felt obligated to take of her, then because of the gut-wrenching guilt that would consume me afterward.

It was a vicious circle of feeling trapped, feeling remorseful for feeling trapped, being grateful I could be there for her, and getting frustrated because nothing I did seemed to make her happy. But, no matter how much we fought, we always told each other at least one or more times a day how much we loved each other. Not even dementia could steal away the precious love we felt for one another.

I had always imagined mom would fall asleep one night and her wish to be in Heaven with dad and my brother would be peacefully fulfilled. At least, that was what I hoped. Cancer was not something I ever imagined would happen to her at ninety-five years of age. It’s the most horrible thing that could have happened to her at the end of her life. I am thankful she did not have to suffer for too long. She hadn’t been feeling well for several weeks, and her doctor thought she had a UTI. After a couple of weeks on antibodies, she began crying out in such intense pain I called an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

A CT scan revealed the horrible reason behind her excruciating pain. From the time she received the diagnosis of bladder cancer to the time of her passing was less than two weeks, but during those terrible days she suffered unimaginable agony. Those two weeks gave me time to recognize the depth of our love and how strong our mother-daughter bond truly was. Mom went downhill almost immediately, but there was never another angry word between us again, or anything other than the realization that we were spending our last days together and every single second mattered.

In the pre-dawn hours on June 15th, my mother joined my father and brother in Heaven. I still can’t believe she is really gone. I miss her more than words can say. While I was taking care of her she used to get so angry with me whenever I would leave the house and I would get angry because she was angry. Now, I realize she probably just didn’t want to be alone, because since she left me that morning, I’ve been lonelier than I ever thought possible.

Before she was taken from our home for the final time, we dressed her in a beautiful blue and white flowered blouse and her favorite pair of jeans. I had given her the blouse years earlier. She always said it was too fancy to wear and we should save it for her funeral. Seeing her wearing that particular blouse was heartbreaking, but she looked so at peace and so beautiful that the image of her wearing it on that morning will never leave me.

Something really remarkable happened to me since mom’s passing, but first I need to tell you about another thing I used to let annoy me way too much, because it’s an important element in the rest of this story. For the past several years mom had become extremely hard of hearing, and although we had two different sets of hearing aids for her, she refused to wear them We had to yell for her to be able to hear anything, and her TV was always blaring so loud I felt like I was about to go deaf myself from the constant loud noise. Added to this was the fact that mom would talk constantly, but never loud enough so she could be heard above the TV. I was always irritated and very vocal about this situation. But, of course, now I realize how ridiculous it was to let this bother me so much.

If only we could have a way of knowing how our actions will effect us when circumstances change. But, it’s my nature to dwell on the things I wish I had done differently for her, which is mostly how much I wish I hadn’t fought with her over everything. How stupid it all seems now.

In spite of those bad memories from the past few years, there were so many more great ones of the time we lived together during the past four and a half years. One of my favorites were our spooky movie nights. We loved to watch horror movies together, while eating black licorice and drinking Pepsi. She taught me to enjoy watching football, which is something I never imagined doing. But, mom’s enthusiasm while watching her much-loved Broncos was infectious. She was either cheering them on or cussing them out. Before long, I was sitting next to her doing the same thing, and actually having fun doing it. I treasure the memory of her last birthday party. She got such a kick out of the fact that we had actually put 95 candles on her cake.

Mom devoted her entire life to her family. She loved to sing and dance, play the guitar, the organ and piano, and host huge family get-togethers. She was an amazing baker and cook. When I was still in school, there would be freshly baked treats every night after school when I got off the bus. As I got older we were constantly going somewhere together. Mom was always ready to jump in the car and take off for a day trip or weekend adventure. There are so, so many priceless and beautiful memories that will remain with me forever. And, I will always be grateful I was able to fulfill my dad’s last wish for me take care of mom, and also mom’s wish that she would be able to die in her own bed.

Dealing with mom’s affairs has been fairly simple. There was a reading of her will at the office of my parent’s lawyer, and several days later I had to drop off some paperwork at his office. What happened there is something else I will cherish forever. The lawyer’s sweet wife, whom I will call Cari to protect her privacy, greeted me when I entered the office (she’s also his secretary), and after a few kind exchanges about how I was holding up, she casually asked me if I believed in physics?

Chuckling, I replied how the only one I had any experience with was a 1-800-Physic I had called in the middle of the night after too much wine, and I hadn’t been very impressed.

She smiled and replied, “Well, I am a physic. And, your mom has been keeping me up for the past few nights. I wasn’t sure what she wanted at first, because I didn’t realize you were called anything other than Veronica. But, my husband said he thought your parents called you Ronee, too.”

Tears instantly pooled in my eyes. “Yes, my family and friends all call me Ronee.” I was overcome with a sense of sadness. I desperately wanted to believe my mom was at peace now, but obviously she wasn’t if she was keeping this woman–this physic (?)–awake at night.

“Once I knew you were called Ronee, I knew what she wanted. Your mom talks a lot, but mostly, she kept asking me to tell Ronee thank you.”

There was no holding back the gush of tears at this point. Oh God! I was too stunned to reply. Was this really true?

“She also said to tell you she’s really happy and the flowers there are beautiful. And, she wants you to know that she can hear everything now.”

I could barely breath, but finally managed to gasp, “My mom was hard of hearing and I used to get so mad at her for refusing to wear her hearing aids.”

Cari smiled, “Well, now she can hear everything.”

My head was spinning. How would this virtual stranger know something so intimate about my mom? She would soon convince me she was the real deal as far as physics were concerned.

“Oh, and was your mom buried or cremated?”

Sobbing, I answered, “Cremated. Why?”

“Did you dress her in a blue and white flowered shirt or dress for the cremation? When she comes to see me she’s wearing something white with blue flowers,” Cari added to my shock and disbelief.

Now I was visibly shaking and crying hysterically. Cari and her husband offered me a box of tissues and a chair in case I needed to sit down. I didn’t even know how to respond. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind this woman had truly seen and spoke to my amazing mom in the afterlife. And, the messages she asked her to convey to me were personal and priceless. She wanted me to know she was happy and she could hear again, and most of all, she wanted to thank me.

I will cherish these messages from Heaven and from my mom forever. But, she really didn’t have to make a special trip back here to thank me. I always knew how much mom appreciated everything I did for her, although it didn’t even begin to compare with all the wonderful things she did for me. I just hope and pray she knows how much I thank her for everything she did for me my entire life, but especially for the honor she bestowed upon me by being my mom and my best friend.

Thank you, mom. With all my love…forever!

Ortencia Elizabeth Bettger


Starting, for me is easy. Something sparks an idea. It could be a dream, a piece of clothing, a song, a person, a tree…it could be anything. The excitement of a new idea makes my heart race and I can’t wait to put something down on paper. With the first burst of creative enthusiasm, the ideas flow. Creating the major players, the location, the basic storyline, it’s all intoxicating.

Then, real life interferes. The writing process becomes one more task you have to fit into the everyday events of your life. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s an escape. But, it’s always there, waiting for you to return. And, it’s always with you. The story replays itself in your head. The characters you’ve lovingly created dwell in a special place in your heart. They wait patiently for you to to come back to the fictional world you’ve created for them.

Starting is easy. Finishing not so much. But, whether it takes 5 months or 5 years to finish a book, the time spent writing is yours alone. It’s a personal journey of growth and emotion. It’s worth every second of time you devote to it, until you write those last two magical words…THE END

Picture credit to @Writer’s Resource


Happy Hump Day! Now is the perfect time to read a book, and I’d love for you to read one of mine. These are three of my most recent books. Hopefully, you’ll find one (or more) you would like. Thank you.

From the moment she saw him, Rose was lost. His bronze skin gleaming in the sun, his long dark hair streaming behind him in the wind—the proud Ute warrior mesmerized her. But to be with White Owl, she would have to defy her family and forsake everything she’d ever known. Their families were at war, but White Owl would settle for nothing less than Rose’s flame of red hair and her clear blue eyes. He would risk his honor and his life, because when one soul calls to another, true love knows no bounds.

Treasure lies deep in the Superstition Mountains, but is it worth the price…
Mateo Two Moons’ family has guarded dark secrets and unspeakable horrors for centuries. His Apache Blood Clan is dhampyre—half human, half vampire. But he will risk revealing the truth concealed in The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, exposing his entire family, and even his own existence to claim his human mate and change the perilous fate of his clan.
Dawn Malone’s move to Arizona to teach middle school has expanded her horizons. Meeting new people, hiking the desert wilderness, and the lure of gold fever in the old mine is exactly what she needs.  The handsome Apache she encounters seems almost too good to be true.  Mateo Two Moon’s sexy, dangerous air draws her in, seducing her heart and soul. But her intrigue concerning the secrets he keeps turns to confusion and horror as she begins to realize the man she’s falling for could be something she didn’t even believe existed.

Adopted by the Sioux as a young child, Meadow thinks of herself as one of the People, until a white visitor to their camp notices her pale coloring and begins to question her background. On the verge of consummating her vows with the virile young chief who’s captured her heart, she is torn from the life she loves while he must risk his freedom to rescue her.


Unless you’re in lock down with a ninety-five year old who has dementia. For the past ten days, my mom has been asking me at least ten times a day if I was fired and if that’s why I’m not going to work anymore. Each time I explain I’m working from home for a while, and that’s why I’m on the computer all day. But of course, she doesn’t understand what I’m telling her.

Mom talks constantly, sometimes even in her sleep. She talks to the TV, to her parakeet, to anyone who’s in the house or to no one. It’s nearly impossible to watch a movie or sporting event with her, because she won’t stop talking, complaining, or asking questions. As I’m trying to work remotely for my day job, and do video conferencing with co-workers, I have a constant background noise of her chattering and demanding me to answer all her questions as to why I’m home or whatever else happens to be on her mind at the time.

When we stay on a very strict schedule, she seems to do much better. Our normal routine during the week includes us both getting up early. I get ready for work and she gets ready for her day. By the time I leave for work she’s in her comfortable chair watching TV in the living room. My daughter stops by an hour later to fix her breakfast. I’m home at one in the afternoon to fix her lunch and when I get off work, I go straight home to be with her. Several times during the day my two sons and daughter-in-law check in on her, and I have a video camera set up in our house so that I can watch her at all times from work. So far, this arrangement has worked good, but we know that sometime in the near future, mom will need someone with her around the clock. Without the help of my wonderful family, I could not do this alone.

When I’m not home, and watching her on the camera, she is happily cruising around the house with her walker, chattering away, and taking care of herself. When I’m home, she’s helpless. She says she needs help to get out of her chair, can’t get anything for herself, and sometimes, even acts like she can’t walk. I get frustrated. I get angry. I hate it when I get so annoyed with her. Then, I feel guilty. I wish I could be more patient. I try…

Weekends are much the same as the past two weeks have been with her asking me all day Saturday and Sunday if I got fired or when I have to go back to work. And, because I’m home, pretending to be completely helpless. But, having me home every day for this long has completely thrown our regular schedule out the window, and she has not adapted to it, yet. I figure about the time she starts getting used to me being home everyday, I will be going back to work again, and she’s be thrown into a tailspin again. Yesterday, when I had to go into my office for a few hours, she had a total meltdown and told me I couldn’t leave her alone. Then she added that she didn’t think I had a job anymore. So sad to be so confused.

Being home bound with mom is probably equivalent to parents with small children who are working at home during these difficult times. I sympathize with them. And, I sympathize with mom. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be in a near-constant state of confusion like she is lately. She thinks everyone is talking about her, hiding or stealing things from her. She is constantly praying to be with dad and my little brother in Heaven.

Regardless of how hard I think I have it, I know it doesn’t even begin to compare to what mom is going through. So, I’ll just keep letting her think I was fired, because all that really matters is that she is safe and healthy.

The Promise, Part 2

Being a caregiver has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  When it’s over, I have no doubts I will look back and know it was also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  But, the day to day reality of caring for a ninety-five year old senior is overwhelming at times…most times.  For a while, I’m going to write about those intense feelings in this blog.

 Even though I started this blog to promote my book writing, I feel that writing about this difficult period in my life will be therapeutic for me in all aspects of my life. I’m not going to sugar-coat the struggles mom and I have on a regular basis.  But, I am NOT looking for sympathy here, even though I’m sure there will be some poor-pitiful-me posts in this series.  However, if you’ve ever been a caretaker for someone, whether old or disabled, and you have advice for me, that is always greatly appreciated.  Thank you for sharing this challenging journey with me.


My mom is superstitious, so she has always told us to be careful when that ominous date occurred.  Her birthday is on the 13th of November, and we like to tease her when it falls on a Friday.  But, it wasn’t until 1980 that Friday the 13th became more than just a harbinger for bad luck.  The movie with the same title was released on May 9th of that year.

It was almost forty years ago (OMG), but I still remember going to the theater to see this slasher hit.  For those days, it was pretty graphic and a different sort of horror film from the ghosts, werewolves, and vampire movies I’ve been a huge fan of since I was a little girl.

I won’t lie. It scared the crap out of me. But, I loved it. Through the years that film has provided my family with numerous party themes. The movie was filmed at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, which is a Boy Scout’s camp located in Hardwick, New Jersey I recently read that fans of the movie can take tours of the camp and even spend the night on special occasions. How fun (and scary) would that be?

Tonight I plan to pop the cork on a bottle of wine and watch this classic old movie again.  Jason Voorhees was never better than he was in the original film as far as I’m concerned.  Happy Friday the 13th.  Stay safe.