About Hallie Swift

I was raised in Hollywood.  My Dad was a record producer at Capitol Records; my childhood memories are punctuated with music, concerts, recording sessions and even the Grammy Awards.  My Mother, UCLA Class of 1937, stopped working outside the home during the early years of her marriage.  She was 40 years old when I was born; my dad was 43. I have one sister, who is an accomplished artist and arts administrator.

Our parents took a keen and active interest in our educations.  After my graduation, also from UCLA, I left Los Angeles.

A year later, my father died. My Mother took her first job outside our home in decades, and thrived in her work at an art gallery until her retirement in her 83rd year.

 I am married and live in New York City. I work in marketing and fund-raising.

For many years, I viewed my life in Los Angeles through a rear view mirror. 

That perspective changed when my mother exhibited unmistakable signs of dementia. At first slowly, then dramatically, my priorities were challenged. She needed me as no one had ever needed me before. 

An independent woman had raised an independent woman; suddenly neither of us was holding that flag.

I dedicate my writing to my grandmothers, whom I never met.  But I am named after them, and that is enough.


9 thoughts on “About Hallie Swift

  1. I just finished all your posts. I don’t follow blogs really ( my 22 year old lives for them from many worlds) . I sat, tears streaming, at the remembrance of your mom through the words of my mom and dad. Your words are awesomely beautiful and inspirational.

  2. Hi…my “sister in life” Kathy P. told me about your blog. It is very well written and heartfelt. So much so that I read through several entries and had to stop because I could not see through the tears. My beautiful Mother was diagnosed with Dementia at age 55. Being a Speech-Pathologist, my brain made me suspect it’s presence but my heart was so hoping I was wrong. She died almost two years ago at age 77. It was a long, slow descent into darkness for her and we all lived for the days when a glimmer of “Mom” would shine through and connect. Her dementia was Lewy Body Type so there were times when she would have clarity and would painfully ask “Do I really have that disease that the Doctor says I have?” I will continue to read your blog but will have to read in small doses…that is all my heart can handle. Best wishes, Jane

    • Hello Jane, Two years is a very short interval after the loss of your Mom (I do not agree with people who say the stages of grief are measured in time…I am not even sure I agree with the stages of grief). I am grateful that you are reading in small doses and for your comments as well. Thank you to Kathy P for referring you (you couldn’t have a better ‘sister in life’).

      As you probably know from your reading here, I am not an “expert” but instead am reflecting on both our years with dementia and the grief I still feel for the loss of both my parents. Your comment that you saw a “glimmer of Mom shine through and connect” struck me deeply; I am convinced that although it doesn’t seem like the person is there, especially in their darkest lost hours, it is really still them. Some people do not agree. As I continue to write and I hope through your sorrow you continue to share your reaction…I know there is not one way to see these issues.

      I hope in the meantime you find some comfort here. That is my goal. Solace and guidance…in some small way to make the journey for others just a little lighter…

      If at all possible…

      Thank you, H

  3. Thank you! Trust me, both these nominations are both touching and uplifting to me …there is nothing like knowing your thoughts and words are valued. I deeply appreciate your vote of confidence, Hallie

  4. So well said, I often “hear” myself biting at my aging parents and carrying the guilt of that makes me sad! Thank you for sharing and exposing what many of us are guilty of…

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