Love-Hate Affair

“Oh my G-d, look at those flowers. Just beautiful. And that house. It used to owned by Mr. ____, he ran _____ Corporation. There’s no place like this anywhere. It’s so special.”

That was my mother talking yesterday as we drove around the downtown part of Nantucket Island where my family has spent summers since the 1960s.

Continue reading

What To Do About Mom?

What’s the best way to deal with a parent or relative as they age. My aunt, my mother’s sister, raged through her decline with anger, denial and increasing hallucinations. My mother has taken a different approach, always the optimist, she tries to see the positive. But like my aunt, my mother is strong willed. Often when mom says yes it really a secret no.

Continue reading

Flying

My father was a pilot. He did not fly professionally but it was one of his passions. I remember in the 1960s he would practice takes off and landings in a two seater Mooney, with me in the copilot seat, at Philadelphia International Airport. There was a thrill of seeing jumbo jets taking off before us as we followed behind them in our little plane.

Continue reading

The Camera

I have a vivid memory of a birthday when I was around eight years old. I had gotten a brownie camera that morning, a birthday gift from my parents. I was excitedly running around the house taking pictures. Suddenly dad was angry at me. I had done something wrong in the eyes of my father. I was never exactly sure what I had done. He got angry at me, threatening some kind of punishment. I remember being very hurt that my father was yelling at me on my special day. There was something about me that could bring out my fathers anger, even thought I knew he loved me.

Continue reading

What Would My Father Think?

gas shortage even number days

Gas shortages of the 1970s led to even and odd calendar day rationing

My father died last month at the age of 92 after a very long decline. He had no chronic condition but six-years ago had a heart valve repair surgery from which he never fully recovered. The rate of his decline was so slow that his caregivers and I were surprised that he did not pass away years ago. Over a period of six years, he slowly made his way towards death. Continue reading

I Make Lists

Whose life is this anyway?  I went from living my new gay life with a sense of freedom, joy, and fun to caring for my wife who was dying of cancer, caring for my father who is dying of old age, caring for my college-age son who found himself accused of hazing and working with my siblings to clean up my father’s estate, which is a mess. Continue reading

Butterflies and Runny Poop

I remember in college, when I would feel the need for sexual release as an explosion that needed to take place, my destination of choice was the baths.  I would arrive driven, nervous, with butterflies in my stomach.  My first destination, after paying the fee and getting my towel and locker key, was the bathroom, where my intestines would explode with a complete emptying of my bowels.

Continue reading