Saturday, April 13, 2013

Now Available Everywhere

Are you a Baby Boomer Caregiver? Are you being cared for by your adult children?

We 3 is a collection of stories – sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious, always authentic – about a baby boomer caring for her aging parents.

“There are many audiences for books of this type. People will read Ms. Snyder's work for: comfort from the feeling of aging, reflection of family closeness, to cope with caring for a loved one, and so much more.” – Travis Adams Irish

“I recommend this book! Theresa's collection of essays on living with her parents as their adult caregiver shed light on the ups and downs of re-combining the family unit after years spent apart.” – JKMohr

“The stories are charming, funny, thoughtful and informative for many of us who have, or will, taken care of our aging family.” – Marsha A. Schauer

Available Everywhere - See links above under the Header

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We 3 - The End

It has been almost exactly three years since I wrote the last article for the Gresham Outlook, which you just read on my previous post.

Mother had her ups and downs during those three years. We had days when we celebrated with tea parties and days when she just didn’t even want to get out of her chair.

Her short term memory grew worse and worse, which was good in a way. She would announce in the morning that she was not having a good day, but by afternoon she would say she felt the best she had in ages. She would have forgotten her proclamation from the morning.

Six months ago she started to obsess about whether dad and I were home and if not, where we were. It became increasingly difficult to get out of her sight. I couldn’t leave her presence without her calling out or asking dad repeatedly where I was. When we sat with her, she repeated herself so often that it was near to impossible to carry on a conversation with her. She had difficulty following a conversation from beginning to end. So, my writing fell by the wayside as my mother’s needs increased.

She repeatedly stated on her ‘bad’ days that she was tired and wished she would just go to sleep and not wake up. She didn’t want to be a burden to us. I had been told you needed to give the elder person assurances that they could go and you would be alright. I told her she was not a burden and she should not think of leaving us because of that, but if she wanted to go that I would take care of dad for her and it would be okay.

We had established an extended family with Terry, mom’s day care giver, and all the lovely folks from Hospice Care of the NW. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 mother would have been on hospice for three years. We were going to have a party. The hospice folks were going to give her a trophy for being with them the longest of any patient.
She became ill the Sunday prior to that date and passed on April 2, 2011. She left as she had wanted, in her sleep with all her loved ones at her side.

I hope you will join Dad and me as I continue to relate the challenges of living on without mom in “Between 2.” The site can be found on my main site,, under “My non-fiction site.”

The following is the article I wrote for the Gresham Outlook announcing her death, published April 5, 2011.

Carl Jung wrote: “There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it was not balanced by sadness.”

Mother passed away this past weekend.

Mother was born in Dallas Texas on May 17, 1922, but was raised in Lawton Oklahoma, except for a short time during the depression when her family moved to Arkansas to live off the land. She was born of good Irish/Native American stock – her grandmother was an Irish “Sooner” into the Oklahoma Territory, who married a half-breed Cherokee Indian. Of the five Whiting children, Mother was the oldest, and the last to pass. Her family was so well known in Lawton that I remember people hanging out windows of cars to call to her in the late 50’s. The whole town called her “Sister.”

When she was young she had aspirations of becoming an opera singer. I don’t think she ever really got over the fact that she gave up the pursuit of that dream to marry and move away from Oklahoma.

She moved to California when she was twenty years old and supported herself by being one of the first “Rosie the Riveters.” She helped build P38s during WWII. California is where she met my Father. They moved over thirty times in their 64 years of married life, but they always returned to California until this last 15 years with me in Portland.

If mother had one fault, it was her lack of self-esteem. She really should have held herself in higher regard. She was an intelligent, gentle, loving person, who reached out and changed so many lives for the good. She did so many things she should have been proud of in her lifetime. Everything she did, she did well.

She helped Dad start a garage of their own on Van Nuys Boulevard and was one of the first women that we know of to pump gasoline. She ran parts deliveries for him. That’s where she drove her first turbo charged engine. Later she would drive a stockcar in the “powder puff” derby even though she needed a stool to get in the car’s window.

Mother created a library for the small private grade school my younger brother and I went to. She helped many a child become interested in books and the places they could take you. She worked for a time as a pastry cook at the high school where my Father taught, and then took on organization of the school bookstore.

I suppose the thing she did best though was help people. She once thought about going back to school in her forties to become a psychologist. She would have made a great one. She could read people like her beloved books.

She and Dad raised twenty-three additional children, beyond their original three. She did this with a great deal of love and with predictable discipline. Mother cooked more cookies then the Kebbler Elves. Over those cookies, with a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of tea or coffee, problems could be handled – if not totally solved - with her wise input.

She invented the Easy-Skillet-Meal long before it was marketed in those convenient boxes. She knew how to make a meal stretch from five to ten people in a few minutes. She filled teenager’s stomachs, and their mind with ambition and dreams to strive for, as easily as other people fill their gas tanks.

She passes on leaving Dad, we three natural children – Wade, Jeff and me -, two daughter-in-laws, 23 borrowed-foster-adopted children, 35 grandchildren – both natural and from the borrowed kids - and numerous family units and friends behind.

The world will be emptier without her smiles and laughter. But, heaven will have a good second-in-command once God realizes she has moved in.

Frederick Buecliner wrote: “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and then in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

Mother’s touch was felt, and will ripple out for generations to come.