Life’s Bookends

photo(21)Last week I was visiting family, the first half in Michigan babysitting for my toddler grandchildren and the second half visiting my 86-year-old mother in Philadelphia.  Bookends to life, but similar in ways. The toddler waddling on unsteady feet, and my mother learning to steady herself with a walker.  The children wanting a cohort in their imaginative play, and my mother needing compassion as she sorts through her choices for a healthy, meaningful life.  I can still feel the warm grasp of my grandson’s hand in mine as he reached out for protection, and the sweet embrace of my mother’s hand, wrinkled wisdom of shared memories and continued love. Both so very special. Cherished bookends of promise and experience.

When I left my mother I told her to treat herself like I would treat her. Since I’m not there to take care of her, I hoped that she would extend to herself the love, kindness and generosity that she appreciated when we were together.  She understood.

Tell me about your bookends.






4 Responses to “Life’s Bookends”

  1. Barbara Hinz

    I love your story and your bookends, they are beautiful, the young and old and holding you together, allowing this special perspective.
    You asked about my bookends and what immediately came to me is that all my life I’ve been the bookends holding my family together. I saw that image, clear as day. HUMMM perhaps I should make some adjustments to my life, change my perspective and truly allow others to be my bookends.
    Thanks for sharing this Ellie. I’m sure you never knew how your words would be so important to me!

  2. Elisa Cavaliero

    Ellie.. Thank you for sharing your insiteful thoughts on life.. the bookends .. what a wonderful way to think about this stage in your Mom’s life & the toddlers’ lives and your place in both .. I love it..
    It reminds me of the type of mother & grandmother that I strive to be. My mother passed away when I was 10 yrs old, but I remember the love that was there. This is what I have tried to hold onto in my relationships with my 3 daughters and grandchildren. I want them to know they are cherished, I want to give them what I didn’t have throughout my life.. the love that only a mother can give and mostly I want to be there for them.
    I am happy for you that your still have that in your life today as well as the joy of the grandchildren. Love you!!


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