PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Lieberman Community

Slowly I have gotten to know the children and partners of the residents on Gregory's floor. None are as young, none are gay. So while we all have a lot in common, my story continues to be somewhat unique.

GS sits at Gregory's table. She is newly arrived at Lieberman from a home in Florida. Her son H and I met and have been corresponding via e-mail. Not to come out on his behalf but lets just say that we have a lot in common. 


Nice to see your e-mail waiting for me. Turns out that Gregory and I will be going to the April 14th Seder at Lieberman because I am already booked by a "condo friend" for the 15th. Sorry we will not be able to have the "whole table" of friends together. Maybe next time? 

I checked out your websites. Interesting combination: Steel drums for a living, pottery ones for a passion! Would be interesting to hear more.

I have a friend who has been taking classes at Lil for several years, has a potter husband, attends shows all over the country with him, and runs a small pottery shop in New Carlisle, Indiana called "The Potter's Wife." Her husband's site is She was the VP of Exhibits when I was involved with the installation of "Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures" as a permanent exhibit at Chicago Children's Museum. Also, another close potter friend is Kaye Yourist in Ann Arbor.

See you in the halls,



Hi. Good to hear back from you so quickly. Just finished watching "Daniel's Room." Beautifully presented. If you got to, you know my fondness for museum presentations of life. Daniel's Room was quite well done. I find that I am too much of a "sponge" to be able to go to Holocaust Museums (one is Skokie as well) or watch movies about it. I certainly am a strong person, as witnessed by the last ten years supporting my disappearing love, but I know when I will be overwhelmed and therefore need to protect myself. Self survival I guess.

Sorry too that we will not be able to be at the Seder all together. I will see you "in the halls" as I never know when I will be there. Gregory's room is 574, I think in wing A? I have Manny with Gregory five days from 11:30-5:30 which provides an active day for him as well as helps make meals more easily spent. Alaksh, a Northwestern Student who has been a companion to Gregory for the last year, covers Thursday dinners and Saturdays. Having this extra help makes it a little easier for me to continue to live my own life knowing someone is with Gregory, especially since he still seems to know the difference. He has not yet slipped into his own world completely away from me but I know the day will come. So I get to visit him almost every day for an hour or two or three and then can leave knowing he is being taken care of not only by the great staff at Lieberman but also the extra help.

I have kept myself busy, as you saw on my site, and I think that has helped keep me sane. For most of the last ten years Gregory was as much a part of my activities as he could be but I did work at maintaining a personal life as well. I enjoy being with him because I love him, not to assuage any guilt or to make amends. I think all children, eventually have to come to grips with their relationship with a parent, but loosing one's soul mate, best friend, lover, fuck buddy, etc is like having a large part of your soul ripped away. It gets very lonely when the only one who really understands you and can "make it all right" no longer is available to you. But my heart is light as I watch through Gregory's eyes. He continues to be happy, calm, safe, and content. That is what allows me to continue to live my life. 

Not to pick on your words so please do not fret, but Gregory is STILL a sweetheart, just at a lower functioning level. I call him my "petulant seven year old" and enjoy when he jokes, or gets stubborn or closes his eyes and mouth when he is finished eating. He still kisses me, pets my head when I help his arm up to that level, and we often cry together as well as get the giggles. I never thought our later life would be like this and of course I wish I could make it all go away, but I cannot. So I make the best of it and both Gregory (we used to talk about his when he was still able to compose his thoughts) and I continue to consider ourselves blessed with supportive family and friends, not too many financial worries, and the continued ability to love and be loved.

Talk soon,

Michael Horvich










On Mar 31, 2014, at 1:40 PM, Howard Skolnik <> wrote:

Hi Michael,
Thanks for the lovely email. Sorry that we cannot share the Seder together, having a support group makes the experience more enjoyable. Even though my mother will not be aware of the event, I believe that being with her will be more about my wanting to make her feel loved. To quote Ruth, being at Lieberman gives us the opportunity to “heal some wounds,” and I am certainly enjoying having her back in Chicago.
I don’t know either of your potter friends, Skinner or Yourist, however, I rarely know anyone’s name, I usually recognize their work. Robert and I call ourselves “gentlemen potters” as we enroll in classes constantly so that we have access to the glazes and kilns. We’ve been together at Lillstreet for more than 12 years, and I go back more than 25 years there. It’s a good place.
I don’t know your livelihood but I did check out your web site and I see you are a man of many interests and passions. Could spend hours going from link to link. Suffice to say, I think we’d enjoy an evening of conversation….or 2 or 3.
Did you ever get to visit Daniel’s Room at the Holocaust Museum in DC? Of all the exhibits, that was the one that brought me to tears. Many adults never visit it.
Do you have a visiting pattern for getting to Lieberman? Would be nice to catch some time together. I usually run up there on Sat mornings and then Sunday afternoons. This week, Mom may move to another room so I might be there to move her in. Her current room is dark and small. She will be moving to 514C. Where is Greg? Batia is in D.
Good to connect here, and in Skokie. I always say hi to Greg and offer some conversation. He must have been a sweetheart.
From: mahwww []
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2014 12:50 PM
To: Howard Skolnik
Subject: Re: Passover at Lieberman

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