The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “dignity

The Journey of Forgotten Memories

Posted on February 10, 2019

I opted to release the chapters of my latest novella – Life Among the Stones– as sequential blog posts to help draw attention to the rapidly evolving world of Alzheimer’s disease.  As people live longer, the occurrence of Alzheimer’s and dementia have mushroomed, causing many observers to note that we might be on the verge of an epidemic. Life Among the Stones is a fictional account of a remarkable woman – 81-year-old Alberta Alexander.  The novella opens with her seeing her dead husband’s face in an elevator as the doors close.  Thus, begins her complicated and revealing journey into Alzheimer’s.  With her two adult children fully signed on as caregivers and a long-lasting friend as her physician, Alberta moves into the process determined to retain her inner core of dignity,…

Life Among the Stones – Dénouement (Chapter 18)

Posted on January 30, 2019

Things were getting more difficult with each passing week.  Doris, the personal care worker, proved her worth repeatedly, but, still, the load on all of those caring for Alberta was increasing.  And, somehow, in all her confusion and forgetfulness, she knew it.  She could see the strain showing on those around her. She said as much one morning, as Jenny took her for a walk in the local park.  Her position in the wheelchair was warm enough, covered, as she was, in layers of clothing, a comforter, and a woolen toque.  Seated opposite her, on a cold bench, Jenny talked about anything and nothing – things to keep her mother’s mind engaged with the day. At one point, she blew her warm breath into her chilled palms and then rubbed…

An Empty Spot On the Bench

Posted on January 13, 2015

WHEN EFFECTIVE ADVOCATES FOR DEMOCRACY ultimately leave the stage through retirement or death, it’s not always true that their absence is noted. Lose a Mandela, Vaclav Havel, or a Maya Angelou and almost immediately the tributes and stories flood the airwaves. Yet every year we lose many of democracy’s greatest champions without even knowing it, often not even recognizing their names. A candle goes out and we merely transfer our interests to another. The voice of Bill Moyers finally went silent on PBS news stations a few weeks ago, leaving a significant vacancy in our overall struggle for a fairer and more equitable society. Moyers was sage, highly knowledgable, and intensely courageous for those things he devoutly espoused. Some regarded him as a throwback…

What Would Jesus Ask Santa?

Posted on December 24, 2013

He was a Christmas angel, though I couldn’t spot it at first. We had been going into Westmount Mall on Friday evening to just cheer on the volunteers who had been wrapping Christmas presents in return for a donation to the London Food Bank.  It was pouring rain, and on the way in the door I noticed a man standing off to the side who was obviously having a difficult time.  He appeared down and out and discouragement seemed to mark his disposition.  We went on inside and then I suddenly thought better of it. “I’m getting a coffee for some volunteers inside; can I get you one?” I asked. He smiled at that point and though he had first declined, he went on…

Kellogg’s – We’re Not Done Yet

Posted on December 13, 2013

I LOOKED UP SO SEE FOUR PEOPLE coming down our driveway.  They introduced themselves, but it’s what they said next that set the tone: “We’re from Kellogg’s.” They were insecure but had lots to say about wanting me back in politics, about the corporate agenda, about what this community has meant to them.  And then, sadly: “Glen, how do we get help from the food bank when the time comes?” This is rapidly becoming the state of modern community life – people who helped arrange food drives at Kellogg’s were now going to require some of that very food themselves.  This is no way to run a society, and nor is it any way to treat people who built our cities and regions.  Sadly,…