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December 2014

Daily Dosage for Fish Out of Water

Snapped and recorded by @topgold

MY MOM IS actively dying. I'm part of a vigil at her bedside.

Hospice professionals have politely told me and my brothers that we need to take care of ourselves just as we continue to offer the best care for mom in her final days. So as part of that personal healing process, I need to vent a few thoughts on my blog, reflecting some of the cryptic log entries we've recorded in the final weeks of 2014.

It sounds oxymoronic to write about "active death" and yet that is a term used by some hospice nurses when a patient enters the final 12 hours of life. To her sons, "active dying" means mom will continue to beat the odds and will extend her time by a factor of three, perhaps dying sometime very early in 2015.

Continue reading "Daily Dosage for Fish Out of Water" »

With Mom Who Taught by Rationing

I AM PART of a vigil with brothers now watching my 88 year old mother (in photo snapped 70 years ago) slowly wind down life through rationing of fluids and medication. In some ways, what's happening now to my mom is part of her cycle of life. That's because she grew up in an era where rationing happened during the Great Depression and she knew rationing as a high school student during WII.

While living on an Iowa farm, mom's family received their first "Sugar Book" (War Ration Book Number One) as mom was finishing her sophomore year in high school. The books were distributed in May 1942 through networks of schoolteachers, PTA groups, and other volunteers.

Continue reading "With Mom Who Taught by Rationing" »

Crossing the Atlantic on the Surface

MY MOM'S laboured breaths haunt me as I cross the Atlantic to join my four brothers at her bedside. She is 88 and she did not expect to live beyond Christmas.

I have 48 minutes of audio conversations with my mother sitting in the Music folder of the Surface tablet and I wish I had noise-cancelling cans to permit me to listen to those chats I've recorded during my final two visits to Lancaster County. The rolling rural landscape kept its agricultural identity for the 71 years mom has lived on Honeysuckle Lane. She is the neighbourhood elder in all sorts of ways. I hope I can reach her side before she has her final sleep.

[Bernie Goldbach is an elder blogger who uses his Windows Phone as a life blogging tool ]


Christmas in Ireland was Frozen

THE BEST KINDS of Christmas involve joyful days shared with children. That happened in spades for our Frozen family in Cashel, County Tipperary.


Uncle Pat arranged for USPS to fly an oversized box containing Anna and Elsa and everything Frozen from the States to Ireland. I captured the joy on a short video and also recorded The Opening of Presents with 7yo Mia offering the best perspective on Christmas--a memory I will cherish when I rewind and listen in later years.

[Bernie Goldbach is an Elder Blogger ex-pat American in Ireland.]

Inside a Digital Animator's Notebook

AS A MEDIA WRITING lecturer, I cherish the opportunity to see inside the creative minds of the multimedia and amimation students at the Limerick School of Art & Design. This semester, Alice Coleman has produced one of the best Media Writing Notebooks that I've reviewed in the past decade.

I snapped and uploaded Alice's work to OneDrive, using my Lumia 1020 under the natural light on our Clonmel campus. Some of colour wheel choices make a compelling case to actually hold and leave through her work during our 2015 Pen & Pixel exhibition. But for the next three weeks, Alice's notebook is being examined by art students who hope to create portfolio work good enough to gain them entry onto the creative degree courses we offer on campus.

The Media Writing Notebook is meant to capture the essence of several films (Up, Blade Runner and Band of Brothers) along with major themes explored during the semester-long module. We dove deep into realism, remembrance, and semiotics throughout the course.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches on the creative multimedia and digital animation Honours degree programmes at the Limerick School of Art & Design.]