Shaking Things Up - a Column by Mary Beth Skylis

Mary Beth is a freelance writer specializing in personal narratives. Her work focuses on the outdoors and the transformative powers of nature. When her dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013, her search to understand the disease materialized through language. She now writes to help others understand the disease and how to be a compassionate caregiver.

Dad Receives the COVID-19 Vaccine

It is a Thursday evening when my sister asks me to come up with fake illnesses to give my dad. He has just received his first dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, and my sister, ever the practical jokester, wants to tease him.

Watching My Dad Lose Vocal Power Is Painful

“What?” I ask from across the room, closing the distance between my dad and me. I don’t want to ask him to repeat himself again. “Can you grab me a glass of water and my pills?” Dad raises his voice, and this time I hear him. I fill a mug…

Stitching Moments Together With My Dad

Every once in a while, the urge to crochet washes over me. It usually happens when the temperatures start to dip into the 30s when Christmas is just around the corner. During a recent visit home, the desire to make something with my hands emerged…

When Home Becomes a Labyrinth

A few nights ago, Dad and I were watching an episode of “Star Trek” when he decided it was time for a bowl of ice cream. He doesn’t like to take his medications in the evening because the side effects affect…

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