The following is a sample, with brief commentary, of a period in my life when I loved an “OCDer,” who was subsequently diagnosed with a terminal illness that killed him in six months. In my memoir (manuscript just finished) I write about his obsessions with the Jews during the Holocaust, and how I began to adjust my behavior to his increasingly bizarre behavior. It wasn’t until long after he was gone that I realized that one of his gifts to me was my commitment to learn about Scandinavian Jewry during WW2 (see pull-down menu). Also, among the lessons I learned is that no caregiving model fits all. Where I could see the humor and beauty in my circumstances, I was comforted and energized.
Bitten by a Squirrel. OCD and the Grim Reaper. Miami-Dade County Health Department Healthy Stories (2011)
A Leap of Words(The Ruby Collection; tales2inspire.com). When your beloved is dying you want to do everything in your power to maintain the same routines that have comforted him throughout his years as an obsessive-compulsive. But when you and he come from two different religious traditions – one secularly Jewish and the other Protestant – a new ritual involving bedtime prayers creates a moral dilemma. This is a story about how it’s possible for someone who never liked change to find solace in the soothing rhythm of words he can’t even understand. For a man who thrived on rigid routines it became increasingly important at the end of his life for me to nurture his habits while gently suggesting a comforting change.
I Found My Obsession. When life became unbearable with an OCD’er I discovered my own obsession with golf.
Stepping Over the Threshold. Published in PenBayPilot.com on Feb. 8, 2014 this is an adaptation from the beginning of a memoir about how my life-long search to belong led me through the obsessive-compulsiveness of a loved one to find meaning in it and the Jewish culture and values that he stood for.