it was Leon

The nurses and aides who worked at my mother’s nursing home were spectacular in their compassionate care. As I stood outside looking through my mother’s window, they daily entered a place where Covid was. They amazed me with their bravery and perseverance. (As of this writing, Covid numbers have dropped significantly) When my mom was moved to palliative care, I was permitted to enter the facility and spend time with her each day until she passed away. Though I had the requisite PPE, I was nervous, not so much for myself, but for my family. I didn’t want to bring the virus home. That first day I sat beside Millie, I thought about Leon. Leon, a custodian, who like the nurses and the aides, moved in and out of the same rooms they did exemplifying the same kindness, perseverance, and bravery.

I thank all first responders, healthcare workers, those on the frontlines, and the unsung who’ve been dealing with Covid head on since the beginning.

This photo was taken a few weeks before my beautiful mom became bedridden.

New CNF in “Hippocampus Magazine”!

Honored and thrilled to have my creative nonfiction piece, “Inside My Mother’s Mouth,” published in the elegant and smart, Hippocampus Magazine.
Always honored to share a glimpse into my beautiful mother’s world. I dearly miss the person she was for all those amazing decades.

Click the image (or highlighted text) to read onward. Visit, Hippocampus, and take in all the fantastic stories there…
This piece was written before the Covid-19 axe cut deep. It seems so long ago now that I visited Millie daily and helped her with the morning routine.
I hope you’re all continuing to manage during these difficult days. Stay safe.❤️
Thank you for stopping by.

Inaugural Issue of Ailment – Chronicles of Illness Narratives

During these months of such uncertainty, creative expression is a beautiful release. It is an honor to have my poetry and art included in this gorgeous, thoughtful, inaugural issue of Ailment – Chronicles of Illness Narratives.(clicking here or on image also will take you to Ailment’s First Issue)
I hope you, your loved ones, and all people you know are managing the days and staying safe❤️

I sketched the three drawings that accompany my poems when visiting with my beautiful mother at the nursing home. These last few weeks have been difficult not visiting with her, but days when she manages to answer the phone we get to chat a little. The nursing home allows families to drop items off. I go once a week and drop off crullers, comics, and family photos with love notes. My mother is my touchstone. Since suffering her massive stroke, over two years now, she still never complains. She manages small smiles. I selfishly miss that glorious smile of hers, the one I so often brag about-her god-given movie star grin.❤️xo

thank you

if you want to check out Ailment’s website click here

Pictorial Love Notes for Our Beautiful Mom in a Nursing Home

Since many nursing homes, including the home our beautiful mother is in, are currently closed to visitors, every member of my family sent a pictorial love note.🖌

Our mom only has one functioning arm, and her brilliant mind isn’t what it used to be, so she often has phone difficulties. For a lovely Italian woman who is all about family and friends, images with notes are a warm embrace on a lonely day.👨‍👨‍👦‍👦
We put our pictorial love notes in a binder, and dropped the binder off at her nursing home’s security desk. 🌹
If a loved one, or dear friend, is in a nursing home, why not send a pictorial love note 😊
Hope you, your families, and friends are well❤️

And thank you, to all those working in the medical field, nursing homes, eldercare and assisted living facilities…you are truly appreciated❤️

New Nonfiction Published!

Really excited about this piece in 5×5 Literary Magazine – a creative jewel!
It means so much to share this piece about my beautiful mother’s life on Valentine’s Day❤️
Please click image to arrive.

We’ll Always Have the High Chair

honored to have my prose poem We’ll Always Have the High Chair
published in Free Lit Magazine
“Free Lit Magazine is free and published bi-monthly with a mandate to be committed
to the accessibility of literature for readers and the
enrichment of writing for writers.” – Free Lit Magazine

We’ll Always Have the High Chair

 

We laughed. Chuckled while swimming in the YMCA pool. In my kitchen or yours. During our walks. Shopping and smiling. Over coffee.

Dad often asked, “How can you always have so much to talk about? What the hell is so funny all the time?”

Constant conversations. Endless phone calls when we lived only a few miles from one another. And now, I can’t remember much. What did we talk about, mom? What was always so funny all the time?

I’d give anything to hear you laugh again.

I remember when Caroline was five months old. You and I decided to try my first born in her new high chair. She was a tiny baby, and had what we called a minnow-head. We placed her in the chair. She tilted sideways and that bitty head slid to the far corner. There she sat grinning with those sweet bow lips. From that moment, whenever either of us said, Remember the high chair, we’d laugh.

This morning, you keep spitting out your meds. Don’t seem to remember why you need to swallow them. With a despondent voice I ask, Remember the high chair?

Your eyes crinkle as drool dribbles down your chin.

soft island

needless to say – the gorgeous face here is my darling mother at 18 –

this piece is one of those experimental canvases – like picking up a pencil and doodling – unsure of the journey – but comforting all the same 🌹