My mom did a brave thing last month. After decades as a dedicated dental hygienist, she finally left a practice where she felt under-valued. She walked out the door without any acknowledgement and closed a chapter that — despite its struggles, also defined her as a professional. Her patients loved her, although I have no idea how they forged such strong bonds when her hands were in their mouths the majority of a visit.

I can’t say my mom’s retired, because she’s still working a few hours a week at another practice and dedicating full-time hours to be there for my grandpa, who just turned 94 and needs help staying in his own home. But she definitely took a leap.

My mom and I joke a bit about our daily parallels — getting up in the night to tend to someone else’s needs, or how the surprise appearance of bodily fluids can derail a day. The physical nature of caretaking the very young or elderly. On this mother’s day, I want to send her — and all of those who are reprising the role of mother for their own parent, a special thanks.

What you are doing takes courage, grace, a sense of humor and compassion.

This woman who is child, mother, grandmother – selfless, selfless, selfless.



Interesting Smithsonian article – “New Evidence that Grandmothers were Crucial for Evolution.” 



Filed under Life lessons

2 responses to “Parallels

  1. Carol Ann

    Thanks, Brianne, for this beautiful thoughtful post! True about the parallels!

  2. Beth

    This made me tear up, Brianne. I’m so thankful for all the aunts for all the time they have dedicated to helping Grandpa stay at home.

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