Author Archives: Our Long Goodbye

About Our Long Goodbye

I am a college teacher, tutor program coordinator, kidney donor, and dumpster diver / recycler extraordinaire. My stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Salon Magazine, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Journal of Developmental Education, The Wisconsin Academy Review, The Southwest Review, HipMama, Inside HigherEd, as well as other magazines and anthologies. I am the co-author (with Bruce Taylor) of Higher Learning: Reading and Writing About College, 3rd edition (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2011) and a poetry collection, Love’s Bluff (Plainview Press, 2006). You can reach me at seepk@uwec.edu.

Begin “Our Long Goodbye” Here

Thank you for visiting “Our Long Goodbye.”  I began my blog in July of 2012 and ended it in November of 2012, a few months after my mom died of Alzheimer’s.   I used the blog genre as a way to … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Catholic, Death and dying, Family, Generation X, Husbands and wives, Mothers and daughters, Nursing Home, Our Long Goodbye, Sandwich Generation, Terminal Illness | 1 Comment

Goodbye at Last

I was not prepared for all of the people in my life—close friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers—who rest a hand on my shoulder or pull me into a sometimes awkward embrace and ask, “So how are you doing?” “Good,” I … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Death and dying, Family, Generation X, Mothers and daughters, Sandwich Generation, Terminal Illness | 17 Comments

Wear in Good Health

About three weeks after Mom’s funeral, Geralynn and I meet at Dad’s to clean out closets.  Ger brings along her grandson, Denim, who entertains Dad while we make “keep” or “give away” piles of  Mom’s clothes and shoes in the … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Brothers and sisters, Caregiving, Catholic, Death and dying, Family, Fathers and daughters, Funeral, Generation X, Husbands and wives, Mothers and daughters, Sandwich Generation, Sisters, Terminal Illness | Leave a comment

Relics

I asked the Horan brothers to save the nightgown they removed from Mom’s body before she was embalmed.  A week later when they delivered our final bill to my dad’s, they dropped off her blue checked nightgown.  My dad came … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Catholic, Death and dying, Family, Fathers and daughters, Funeral, Generation X, Husbands and wives, Mothers and daughters, Sandwich Generation, Terminal Illness | 1 Comment

Signs

Two days after my mom’s funeral, I realize the silver hoop I’ve had in my upper ear cartilage since 1985 is gone. Mom hated the line of six earrings I wore in my left ear. When I was in high … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Death and dying, Family, Fathers and daughters, Generation X, Houdini, Husbands and wives, Mothers and daughters, Sandwich Generation, Spirit world, Terminal Illness | 5 Comments

Aspergillum

I am what my mother would call a “non-practicing Catholic”—a nice way of saying that I don’t go to church regularly.  Truth is I practice my faith daily: I like to think I live the Catholic doctrine of social justice … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Brothers and sisters, Caregiving, Catholic, Death and dying, Family, Fathers and daughters, Funeral, Generation X, Husbands and wives, Mothers and daughters, Sandwich Generation, Sisters, Terminal Illness | Leave a comment

Requiem

I gaze at my mom in her casket, and I have to touch her.  I can’t help myself.  Her arm feels like a hunk of wood through her dress, a thin piece of kindling.  I’m not sure what I expected … Continue reading

Posted in Aging Parents, Alzheimer's Disease, Brothers and sisters, Caregiving, Death and dying, Family, Fathers and daughters, Generation X, Husbands and wives, Mothers and daughters, Mothers and sons, Sandwich Generation, Terminal Illness | 3 Comments