You know, if you hang around this earth long enough you really see how things come full circle.
It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab hold of life and let it pull you forward.
Life Lesson 3: You can't rush grief. It has its own timetable. All you can do is make sure there are lots of soft places around - beds, pillows, arms, laps.
Christopher Reeve understood that everything begins with hope. His vision of walking again, his belief that he would be able to in his lifetime, towered over his broken body.
I often imagine what it would be like if my father were still here to mark his 100th birthday, if Alzheimer's hadn't clawed away years, possibilities, hopes. What would he think of all the commemorations and celebrations?
I would not call myself a veteran conspiracy theorist. Or an obsessed one. I pretty much peaked on the whole conspiracy theory thing in the '60s, with the grassy knoll, who really killed JFK, and who ordered the hit on Lee Harvey Oswald.
[On her father, Ronald Reagan:] How do you argue with someone who states that the people who are sleeping on the grates of the streets of America 'are homeless by choice'?
I had this odd sibling rivalry with America.
Stories live in your blood and bones, follow the seasons and light candles on the darkest night-every storyteller knows she or he is also a teacher.
My father started growing very quiet as Alzheimer's started claiming more of him. The early stages of Alzheimer's are the hardest because that person is aware that they're losing awareness. And I think that that's why my father started growing more and more quiet.
My father, for his part, was not a man to begrudge anyone a divergent opinion; he'd have been fine if I had written some articles disagreeing with his policies, or even given interviews, as long as I was respectful and civil.
Politics isn't what defines a person, and it shouldn't define a relationship. I made the mistake of letting that intrude on my relationships.
Just think: people decided one day that a day should be set aside for motherhood and fatherhood. What a great concept that is.
I grew up in this era where your parents' friends were all called aunt and uncle. And then I had an aunt and an aunt. We saw them on holidays and other times. We never talked about it, but I just understood that they were a couple.
I'm very comfortable writing in the first person; it dives into the character in a way that's difficult if you're writing in the third person.
My father's body lies in a stone tomb high on a hill. People walk by, pause, think their own thoughts about him and move on, back to their own lives. I can never move on. He is everywhere.
I think that nothing teaches you more about life than death and dying.
I knew people were independently publishing, and I buy books on Amazon. I began seriously considering it when Amanda Hocking was in the news about her self-publishing success.
The thing about losing any loved one, I think, particularly in a long disease, is that you know that other people have gone through it and are going through it, but I think for every person it feels unique.
Of course, people say maybe there are some self-published books out there that shouldn't be out there. Well, it's the same with conventional publishing.
Even if the Bush Administration had flung open the gates to stem-cell research years ago, we would not be at the point of offering treatment today. Christopher Reeve would still have been taken from us. But we would be closer.
America had taken my father from me. And over most of the years of his illness, I gradually started feeling this support system from this country who-people grieving along with us.
You have to separate yourself from your parents. You do. In order to find yourself.
I have a feeling of reverence about my father being in his 80s - a feeling that I want to whisper, take soft steps, not intrude too much. He's like a stately old cathedral to me now.
I think the earlier stages of Alzheimer's are the hardest. Particularly because the person knows that they are losing awareness. They're aware that they're losing awareness, and you see them struggling.
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