When I was a young child I remember watching my dad as his headaches would start. His eyes would begin to glaze over. In those moments, my dad would regress to a terrified six-year-old boy, speaking in whispered tones in his native Yiddish, begging his sister to be quiet as they hid from the Nazis in a Belgian church.
You don't have to be a senior to experience a "senior moment," meaning you forget an otherwise familiar word or name, or can't exactly remember what you planned to do the next minute. It happens throughout life, it just seems to happen more frequently with age. But it's not always due to mental decline in our later years that we lose track of things.
Last fall, a guy came knocking on my door. He had purchased the derelict house next door and wondered if I would sell my not-so-derelict house as well. I would be lying if I said I wasn't tempted. The housing market in Saskatoon isn't strong. A friend has had her house on the market for four months and hasn't had a single offer.
Within our human connectedness, what matters the most is something so simple it can almost be overlooked. Something so ordinary in its application that its intense impact can be disregarded. It is simple, but not easy. Unpretentious, yet so difficult to maintain. That's the thing about kindness: it seems basic.
History doesn't exclusively disappear through a sword, a bomb, or a mallet. It can as easily be brought about through a lack of attention to detail as it can through explosives. The affluent countries of the West are showing disturbing signs of neglect for values that once were sacred to how they worked.
Just like your playlist wouldn't be the same without your favourite song, tomatoes and broccoli should be staples in your meal any time of the year. Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin K, contributing to healthy and strong cognition, while tomatoes' antioxidant properties can prevent neurological damage often associated with dementia and Alzheimer's.
The heavy academic pressures so common today raise back-to-school stress like never before -- and it's not just high school seniors or university students who are feeling it right now. Parents can do a lot to help ease their children's anxieties around school. The key is to really listen, and let your child open up about their fears.
We've all been there. A question arises and you know the answer and yet, even though it might be on the tip of your tongue, you just can't seem to grasp it. Unveiling how memories are formed, retained and recollected has been one of research's greatest challenges. Germs however, may have already solved the riddle.
The Komagata Maru was introduced to me sandwiched between narratives of the Chinese Head Tax and Japanese Internment. It had no scope to breathe. No room for discussion and further explanation. And it was the only time I remember seeing people that looked like me in my school textbooks. But the Komagata Maru is more elusive. It took me years to unlearn the biases I had built up around the story, hear the voices of the pioneers and understand the history on its own terms.
Memory is not just our past -- it is also our present. Memory tells us how to send an email, how to get from here to there, to put on our underpants before our outerwear, how to use a knife and fork, even how to swallow. Memory is the ON button for every function we take for granted. That is the mystery that surrounds every Alzheimer's patient. How much are they aware of what they are losing?
It's the time our New Year rolls around followed by the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. For me, my thoughts are laced with tears, confusion and questions about humankind. It is the time I think of my father's family -- all but him murdered in the gas chambers of the Treblinka Death Camp. It is a time I recall my journey to that place.