Turns out I'm an immigrant in the 21st century. And so is my
Surrounded by her children, grandchildren and a
great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Donaldson opened a manila
envelope handed to her by Emily Gerke. She slowly pulled out
a small towel with "Home is where our story begins" printed
on it in swirling cursive letters. As she unfolded it, more
messages appeared - all handwritten. Her eyes darted across
the fabric as Gerke explained to her what she was seeing.
Most new parents go through "baby sticker shock" when they
start to realize the cost of raising that dear, sweet,
precious little person - for 18 years.
Shortly after her husband was drafted into the military,
Stella Garcia helped pack up their little family and move to
Northern Virginia. They arrived from Texas Sept. 18, 1950, a
day she still remembers well. Over the next 66 years, Garcia
and her family made their home in the soon-to-be created
More than 100 members of Arlington Catholic Charities' Parish
Liaison Network (PLN) recently gathered at Our Lady of Good
Counsel Church in Vienna for a daylong meeting on
"Strengthening Senior Services in our Parishes."
Many retirees whose nests have long been empty are finding
themselves the caretakers of those who cared for them as
chicks. Whether at home, or in a nursing home, many of these
loved ones can become frustrated with their loss of
independence and failing health. By the end of the day, the
caregiver's seemingly unappreciated struggle can cause them
to feel very alone.
LAREDO, Texas - Delfina Flores loves Tuesdays. On that day,
she puts on a bright pink shirt and heads to her church, San
Francisco Javier Mission in Laredo, and meets a group of 10
women in pink shirts.
Naps, knitting and nuzzling with the grandchildren - the
traditional image of retirement is being challenged by the
more than 76 million baby boomers in the United States.
Like many of the residents at Amerisist of Warrenton, John
Sekelsky has lots of stories to tell. Visitors to the
assisted living facility can hear about his World War II
missions and see the artwork he painted featuring the planes
he flew in. They can hear of his years as "Johnny Silk,"
semi-professional accordion player, and listen to him tickle
Dolores Hart was 19 when she filmed her first movie scene:
kissing Elvis Presley.
Last weekend, as my neighbors braved sub-zero temperatures
and shoveled out from Northern Virginia's latest snow storm,
my husband and I flew to Florida. For the first time in
nearly 30 years of marriage, we were without children -
unencumbered by car seats, multiple suitcases or the need for
a constant source of amusement and/or snacks. But our
destination wasn't Disney World or sunny beaches; we were
going to visit my 80-something mother.
It is no secret that grandparents play an important role in
the lives of their grandchildren. From giving encouragement
and life advice to helping out as a caretaker, many turn to
their grandparents for support. In fact, 72 percent of
grandparents take care of their grandchildren on a regular
basis, and 70 percent of those see their grandchildren at
least once a week, according to the American Grandparents