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Thanks so much to Minerva Rising Press for publishing my essay “We Are Doing Our Best” in The Keeping Room. Here is how the essay begins:

We are everywhere, the middle-aged, aging daughters and sons. Watch us folding walkers and wheelchairs into trunks, and then unfolding them again in handicapped spaces or next to sidewalk cutouts. Watch us as we fold and unfold fragile parents in and out of cars that are somehow always too large and high or too small and low to make these transfers as smooth or as safe as we all might wish they could be.

This essay grew out of my own experiences—shared (thank goodness!) with my six siblings—of caring for our parents over the last many years. But it was also informed by conversations with friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have faced or are facing similar situations, which is why I wrote it in first person plural, as if for a chorus of narrators. “We are everywhere” was an observation I made to my friend Denise one day several years ago as we watched a woman around our age guide her father through a crowded coffee shop, then wait for him outside the restroom. Back then, Denise and I were both at the beginning of similar journeys with our own parents. That short sentence, “We are everywhere,” has stayed with me ever since, and has become almost a mantra. So it felt like the right place to begin.

The photo shows my parents in June 2020, on the first day we could visit them after the initial pandemic lockdown. Never in my life had I gone 3 months (or even 3 weeks) without seeing them. We had a happy reunion, and many good months and visits after that before Dad really began to decline. He died in November 2023, the same month I officially became a senior citizen.

Read the full essay here.