Tag: Christina Robertson

April is Parkinsonês Awareness Month


Painting by John Creveling. There was a time when I was not aware that April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. That changed when my husband, John, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) five years ago on March 31st—what he wishes had been an early “April Fools” joke but wasn’t. While we did not choose the PD… Read more »

Mariko Sendai: August 25, 1948ãDecember 11, 2013


Photo by John Creveling. I often referred to Maiko as my “Japanese sister.” When people gave me a quizzical look, I would explain that Mariko became a member of our family after my sister, Hope, spent four months as an exchange student and lived with the Sasaki family in Japan in 1968. (Sasaki was Mariko’s… Read more »

Comfort Food: In Memory of Nora Ephron (1941-2012)


When we think about providing comfort to others and ourselves our first thought may not be about food. Yet, in many societies, it is customary to take a meal to people when they need support, are sick, or when someone dies. It is a way of helping people in trouble sustain themselves when the last… Read more »

Creating a Collage to Review Oneês Life


Recently, my husband and I enrolled in Senior Citizen’s Art Camp, sponsored by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. It is a week-long, annual summer event offering instruction in various art forms including water color, acrylics and print making held at the Horticultural Center in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. My first thought when I signed up for… Read more »

Anne L. Francis-Okongwu, Ph.D., 1940-2012: Social Worker, Anthropologist, Teacher, Mother, Sister, Friend


Anne L. Francis-Okongwu Anne and I met at the gym 18 years ago when I was fortunate enough to choose an exercise bike next to the one she was peddling. We soon became fast friends. We worked out at the gym, did volunteer work, went shopping, visited museums, talked on the phone, and enjoyed one… Read more »

Helping Young Adults Examine Existential Questions Through Literature: The Tragedy Paper


Elizabeth LeBan. Photo by John Creveling. As parents, grandparents, teachers, and therapists, we may find ourselves asking what the best way is to approach “existential questions” with young people? What is the best way for us to get a glimpse of the “existential dilemmas” they face in their young lives? How can we learn the… Read more »

December 21, 2012ãIs the End Near? Or Will a New Era Begin?


My husband and I recently had the good fortune to travel to Mayan sites in Guatemala and Copan, Honduras. To prepare for our trip, we attended the Maya 2012 Lords of Time exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The exhibition explored the current fascination with predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse… Read more »

Encountering –The Other,” or First Impressions


What was your first thought when you saw this photograph?  Did you wonder, “What happened?”  Did you make certain assumptions or guesses?  This is a photograph of my face after I tripped and fell on the sidewalk in Philadelphia where I live.  I can assure you it gave me new meaning to the expression, “Falling… Read more »

Reflections of an Existential Grandmother


I have always defined myself as an existentialist. As a parent, this meant I was responsible for providing opportunities for my children so they could develop into unique individuals. I watched as they created their respective identities through the authentic (fortunately, more authentic than inauthentic) choices they made. It was easy to see my two… Read more »

Considering Institutional Cover-ups Using an Existentialist Perspective


Beaver Stadium at Penn State University Living in Philadelphia in recent months, I have been listening to news about two scandals—one involving a Monsignor of the Catholic Church accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, and the scandal that broke last Fall involving a football coach at Penn State University accused of… Read more »