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It takes a village

Dr. Paul
Taking care of elderly adult woman.

It takes a village to raise a child. But it also takes a village to help an elderly adult flourish during their last chapter of life. In this column, I have written frequently about my friend Tracy’s elderly mother, Dixie. She celebrated her 99th birthday on August 22nd.  She died one week later, in her sleep, at the home of her son and daughter-in-law after living with them for almost 8 years. Read more about It takes a village

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The sweetness of doing nothing

Dr. Paul
Man walking his dog outside in the neighborhood.

Recently, while exercising, I watched the lovely movie “Eat, Pray, Love” based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. When the author is in Rome, her Italian friends chide Americans for their addiction to busyness. One of her friend’s comment— “Italians know how to relish the sweetness of doing nothing”.

It struck a chord. Read more about The sweetness of doing nothing

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The school year is around the corner

Dr. Paul
Kids running down school hallway with lockers.

Sigh.  Summer is winding down in the Northwest. The unmistakable signs are here—brisk mornings, shorter days, and the back to school sales. Kids have been getting bored for a while now—looking forward to new backpacks, new classes, new teachers, and seeing old friends that haven’t been around over the summer. The back to school pace is quickening. Read more about The school year is around the corner

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Going to college

Dr. Paul
Father and son unpacking at college.

This time of year, kids going off to their freshman year of college are busy preparing for the big day.  So are their parents. There is a lot  to buy, logistics to work out, and last minute crises. It’s a hectic time. Parents are writing big checks. Teens are saying goodbye to friends. It’s a major transition for everyone—the new college student, parents, and siblings left at home. Read more about Going to college

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Preparing for end of life

Dr. Paul
Talking about life with grandma.

My friend, Dixie, 99 years old, is coming to the end of her life. She lives with her son and daughter-in-law who are providing hospice care for her. For the last seven years, I had lunch with Dixie and her son every week at a local restaurant. But now, she can’t leave the house or walk unassisted. She sleeps most of the day, slips in and out of awareness, and slowly, but surely her organs are shutting down. She is like a candle flame that is flickering. Read more about Preparing for end of life

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Love is a verb

Boe
A passionate couple dancing in the kitchen.

Mary feels disconnected from her husband Joe— “I just feel so alone” she says. Married for 20 years with three children, she’s going through a hard time. They love each other, but Joe is a very different person than Mary. She’s more emotional—wanting touch and affection. Joe is more likely to intellectualize his feelings. I can see that Joe feels bad about Mary’s loneliness. Read more about Love is a verb

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Grandparenting 101

Dr. Paul
Grandparents and grandchild enjoying eachothers company.

My wife and I are in our second year as grandparents to two lovely girls, ages 15 and 17 months. Our daughters announced to my wife when they were teenagers that they were both going to have children at the same time and lo and behold they both became pregnant within two months of each other! Read more about Grandparenting 101

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