Fulfilling Family Responsibilities

Fulfilling Family Responsibilities

“And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.”

[From “Modern Love: Promises That Can Bend Without Breaking” by Robert St. Amant, in The New York Times, May 8, 2014.]

They have been married for 28 years. Theirs has been a happy life, filled with an intense desire to travel. They both had fulfilling careers: he is a college professor, she is an accomplished weaver and textile artist.

Their near-perfect life came to an end a year ago when they sold their home and moved into an independent living apart­ment for the elderly. He is only 50. She is 49.

She is the reason they are now living in this situation. A series of seizures and strokes revealed brain tumors. Over time she became more absent-minded and more forgetful. Her lucid periods have become fewer and fewer. After the two surgeries and a painful recovery, he and she talked about the future and what they would do with their lives — but now with the new, sobering realization that they would not live forever. Continue reading

I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches

ProLifeCorner-   “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

When Maureen O’Rourke’s  father was dying of Alzheimer’s, she promised to be with him to the end.  A career nurse, she was confident that she could care for him during his difficult final days.  After pneumonia set it, death was imminent — or so it was thought.  He was taken to a nursing home; but she remained at his side, taking care of all his physical needs as he slipped in and out of consciousness. 

Even though her dad continued to hang on, she was determined to keep her promise to him: that he had nothing to fear, that he would not die alone, and that she would stay with him until the end.  

But after three weeks, she was physically and emotionally exhausted.   She could not continue.  From a WBUR “Kind World” radio interview entitled, Father’s Final Days, A Small Act of Grace, Maureen remembers: Continue reading