Evelyn’s Story


I was just reminiscing about Evelyn, who said to me over a year ago: “I was a walking skeleton for five years.”

Patrick F. Clarkin, Ph.D.

Recently, we attended a going-away party for some friends who are moving to Europe. One of the guests arrived a bit late, along with her husband and daughter. She also brought her 83-year old mother, Evelyn [1], who was the chronological outlier among the crowd of 30 to 50 year-olds and their kids. As the children played and the younger adults socialized I made eye contact with Evelyn, who was standing alone. She smiled back in that kindly, typical grandmotherly way, so I introduced myself. We made small talk and she mentioned how she had recently sold the house that she had lived in for more than thirty years, and how much she loved her new apartment and her granddaughter, and other things grandmothers like to talk about.

From her slight accent, it was obvious that she was born elsewhere. Eventually she revealed that she grew up…

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