Home is Where the Heat Is.

By the time we realized that Dad needed as much help as he did, he had been living alone for at least thirteen years. In that time, the fabric of his house had started to fail, and a lot of the appliances had stopped working – including the furnace. Ever the stoic, Dad insisted that he was […]

The Joy of Living: Or, Why I Love Casinos.

The reality of life is that the world seldom gives us exactly what we want; in addition, it often takes what we already have and may really like, without leaving us much in return. We’ve all had difficult things happen to us, capabilities or possibilities taken away, hardships inflicted. We all have something we can’t […]

Even Slumlords Need Good Boundaries.

How do you know you’ve been in an unhealthy relationship? When you find yourself clearing marijuana plants and grow paraphernalia out of the attic of the house you shared with your ex-boyfriend. Allow me to explain. When I bought into a house that V’s father owned, I was following my heart – never a sound fiscal […]

On a Short Leash.

You can’t see as many doctors as I have without having the odd bad time, but it doesn’t happen often, which is why I wasn’t expecting it when it happened. It was a visit to the doctor who handles my pain meds who I have to see every three months so he can check on […]

May the Force Be With Us.

Recently, I applied to a local hospital’s Spiritual Care Department to be part of a program that trains people to be non-denominational patient chaplains. I had to turn in a long application, explaining my religious background and history of care of others. In the interview, I was quizzed about what I had written, as well […]


What do you do when your stepdaughter turns to you in the car and asks you whether her father ever really loved her? My heart broke for her, but I knew I had to be as honest as possible while tailoring my answer to her age and ability to understand. I could see that, although […]

In Video Veritas.

Have you ever played – or watched someone play – that kind of adventure video game where you collect items and skills and powers as the game meanders on? You, as your character, can only actually see the parts of a structure or landscape that you’ve already explored and mapped, and you can wander around […]

The Missing.

Twenty years ago, my father started exhibiting cognitive issues. Absent-mindedness; missed lunch dates; inability to remember how to do things he’d known how to do for years; a reluctance to drive far from his home, even though he loved driving and had lived in the area for more than twenty-five years. Each time these things […]

Remote Control.

Hello, my name is Joy… and I’m a control freak. Not in a bad way, I mean I’m not Fidel Castro, but I do admit to a penchant for control. Because I could never be sure what I would get from my parents, and in my home, I subconsciously decided later to control as much […]