The Writing Room: Write About My Aging Mother? I Don’t Think So . . .

Tinka Falconer on the exercise bike after broken hip.

Within a few weeks of hip surgery, my mother was doing physical therapy at a skilled nursing facility. Photo 2010 BF Newhall

Barbara Falconer Newhall, June 5, 2010

Ten reasons why I’m finding it impossible to write about my 92-year-old mother, even though she’s all I can think about right now:   

  1. I love my mother, and I don’t know how to write about that.
  2. My mother is difficult, and I don’t know how to write about that.
  3. My brothers can read, and they know about this blog.
  4. My mother can read. So can all six grandchildren.
  5. My mother has osteoporosis, dementia and a messed-up stomach. She is losing herself, piece by piece, like dandelion feathers floating off in the wind, and I don’t want to think about that.
  6. My father is dead. My in-laws, Scott and Ruth, are dead. If my mother dies, there will be no more grown-ups left in my life.
  7. I don’t want to be the grown-up.

    Tinka-Falconer and her mother in fur coats w son Jim1945. Photo by DB Falconer.

    My mother and her mother with my brother Jim in an era when hats were taken seriously. Photo by DB Falconer.

  8. If my mother can die, anybody can die, me included.
  9. If I write about my mother I might find out something about myself that I don’t want to know.
  10. I’d rather grab a Clausthaler, curl up with the afghan that once belonged to my mother-in-law, and watch “House” re-runs. Except I’ve already watched every last one of  them in the three months since my mother broke her hip.

Note: My mother died on December 18, 2010. I still don’t know how to write about her. One of these days I’ll figure it out. You can read more about her at “Tinka Falconer, Her 93 Years.



  1. Paula Blose says:

    Write to your Mother. You may find that it fills the hole you have in your life. Tomorrow is my Mother’s birthday. She was a wonderful, difficult, loving, and sassy woman. She wrote me one of the most important letters of my life the day before I found my husband with his girlfriend on Jan 1, 2007. I treasure that letter. They were words she spoke to me on the phone which I asked her to write to me so I always had them. I only get that letter out when I really need those words. She died on June 13, 2009. My life will never be the same. I want my Mother and I want to go to Cracker Barrel for her birthday.


  1. […] about the challenge of writing about my mother at “Write About My Aging Mother? I Don’t Think So” or about an early shopping trip with her at “My Mother’s Magical […]

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