Tag: family

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

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i've fallen and I can't get up: broken wristThere’s been a surge of fiction and nonfiction by writers of my generation dealing with the matter of becoming the caretaker of aging parents. I myself got a piece out of this life transition — for the New York Times, yippee. But in my case, that phase only lasted a few months, and it was ten years ago. I’ve now aged out and gone on to the next milestone — being taken care of by my children and other younguns.

No, I am not yet completely infirm, doddering and non compos mentis (though as you may recall I was recently taken advantage of by scammers). But I guess I have become a little fragile. On St. Patrick’s Day, I was in a sequinned gold dress on the 13th floor of the Belvedere Hotel, dancing at the wedding of dear friends for whom I had just offered a heartfelt toast. I must have been getting a little too jiggy with it because my right kneecap — which has been letting me down this way since 1971 during my entrance onstage as Cassius during the tenth-grade rock opera production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar — took a leave of absence from its leg-holding-together duties. In other words, my patella subluxated. I lost my balance and hit the floor, catching myself with my left hand. 

Michael and Nicole Phelps Are Having Another Baby

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The Phelps family, Courtesy Michael Phelps/Facebook

Boomer Phelps is getting a brother or sister.

Baltimore Police Chief Spokesman’s Brother Fatally Shot in West Baltimore

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BPD chief spokesman T.J. Smith in December 2016. Photo via BPD/Periscope.

Baltimore’s spiraling scourge of gun violence this week claimed the life of the city police department chief spokesman’s brother.

HBO Covers UMD Basketball Great Juan Dixon’s Relationship with His Long-Lost Biological Father

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Still via HBO’s “Real Sports

Terp fans had a rough week after the men’s squad was bounced from the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. However, thanks to HBO, they’ll get to relive a small piece of their team’s past glory through a touching new segment about a Terps legend and native Baltimorean.

Executive Director of Live Baltimore Resigns to Move Out-of-State

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Steve Gondol

The executive director of Live Baltimore, an organization that promotes the benefits of living in Baltimore, has resigned to move out-of-state.

Steven Gondol, executive director since 2011, announced yesterday that he is moving to Dayton, Ohio, to be with his wife, who is taking a leadership role in her family-owned business, PDi Communication Systems.

An Old Dog Still Teaching Some New Tricks

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The writer’s dog, Puck.

My old dog is deaf. Completely deaf. It is a strange thing to take care of a dog that cannot hear and we are learning together how to navigate this. We cannot be lazy with him at all. If we let him out in the back yard and he goes crazy barking at the rabbit and fox, we’ve got to be prepared to trek out to get him, positioning ourselves so that he can see us. We have to make hand signals to tell him to be quiet. Remarkably, he seems to understand these.

Happy Thanksgiving

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thanksgiving

We’re taking the day off to be with family and friends.  We’ll be back tomorrow with more stories. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Journey of Dementia

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dementia image

My sister and I had traveled home to give my brother a break.  We were with my mother at her primary care physician’s, technically a licensed nurse practitioner whose manner is part game show host, part private investigator.  We all love her.  After the good news –physically Mom was in top form — Lynne shifted gears, getting to the real reason we were there.

Baltimore Humane Society Black Tie & Tails Gala

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black tie and tails

Bring your pup and join us for the most unique gala event of the year!

When My Mother Became the Freaking Buddha

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Scan

Author’s note: As I mentioned in another column, I’m working on a novel that contains a character loosely based on my mother, partly just as an excuse to have her in my head. In the process, I ended up rereading this old essay. The illness described here was not the one that finally got her — she was around another 13 years.

“When My Mother Became The Freaking Buddha” is adapted from my 2005 collection, Above Us Only Sky.

One day in May of 1995, I got a call from my mother. “I was just picking up the phone to call you,” I assured her, knowing she was anxious to hear the latest on a book deal I was hoping to get. I was supposed to call the minute I knew anything, but I hadn’t. Well, only two days had gone by since I’d heard the news, which wasn’t too good, and anyway, one has to balance the pleasantness of one’s mother’s interest in the minutiae of one’s life with its faintly annoying aspect.

Making up for my tardiness, I launched into the tale, and it wasn’t until she broke in and said, “Well, I have to go soon and —”

“I’m almost done,” I said.

“Yes, but I have some bad news.”

No. “What?”

“Well… It looks like I have a little cancer,” she said, and then, in the five minutes remaining until her boyfriend Ceddie picked her up to go eat Chinese, and interrupted by my shrieks of what and how and when, she told me that she’d been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, she had known for over a month, she was starting a course of chemotherapy and radiation on Friday, and she had a fifty percent chance of cure. Then Ceddie was there, and she had to run. “Oh, Mommy,” I said helplessly.

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