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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Slice #12 of 31-"Make Sure You Die Before You Get Old."

This month, I have committed to writing every day through the community at Two Writing Teachers. All are welcome to the March Slice of Life Challenge! It's not too late to join in with comments-- or just read... 

Over the weekend, Clare, Cecily, and I headed to Katonah to visit my grandmother. She turned 95 on January 7th. Up until her birthday, she was doing pretty well. She went to lunch, read the paper, kept up with friends, insisted on decent food, kept track of her bills...She had absolutely no interest in leaving her house that she's lived in for 65 years, despite some pressures from all of us. We are her nearest relatives and we are 75 miles away. When something goes wrong, that's a long ride. Something happened on her birthday, and she is no longer making much sense or functioning independently at all.

We knew that Nana either needed to leave her house or have full-time help. Enter Elizabeth. God bless Elizabeth. I love this picture with Nana and Elizabeth side by side, the picture of my grandfather on the shelf, and Cecily photo-bombing in the background. So many stories captured in this picture...

 My grandmother has never been easy, and even without many of her faculties, she's not easy. She says memorable things, though. Clare stayed upstairs with her for a little bit, and Nana, in a brief moment of clarity said, "Clare, I have something important to say."

"What's that, Nana?"

"Make sure you die before you get old."

When Clare shared Nana's words, they stopped me in my tracks. What does that mean? How old is old? How do we know when we're old? I am inspired to keep, at least the parts of my being that I control, not old. I'm working on a credo of sorts. Clare may turn the line into a song.

Happy Slicing,


  1. Grandmother's have such a way of sharing with us what they think. If there is a song, I would love to hear it! You've inspired me to share some things that my Grandmothers shared when they were living with my parents. Thanks.

  2. This is a tough situation. It's great that she is still able to live in her home with the help of Elizabeth. My grandmother just turned 85 and has not had the interest to live or participate in life for about the last five years. I hope that everything with your grandmom goes well.

  3. I understand your grandmother's words. I will confess that I've had some thoughts along that same vein. I think that would be a great line in a song. Country western?

  4. After a long life of independence, my grandmother was bed-ridden for several years before her death, and was miserable the whole time. Watching the people we love become a shadow of their former selves is so hard. Thinking of you and your family.

  5. A few words with a heavy message. Thank you for sharing.