AARP Bulletin Today wrote, “Both an informative guide and a compassionate, inspiring read.”
Here is an excerpt from the introduction when the author and her siblings reach that time when one must make hard decisions regarding a parent.
Sooner or later, we knew, he would need more help. He’d just turned 83 that fall. Something – eyesight, heart, memory – was increasingly likely to fail. My mother had seemed fine too, slowing but still engaged with life, until suddenly an exploratory laparoscopy found metastasized cancer, and we had to learn a lot in a hurry about hospice care.:
I’d been dreading the next phase ever since. Nobody wants to be facing these questions. We talk sometimes about a role reversal, the children becoming the parents, but it’s a flawed analogy. Our elders are not children; they don’t have to do what we think best. There’s no t-shirt that proclaims, “Because I’m the Daughter, That’s Why.” And this passage, unlike childrearing, will not result in eventual independence.
Still, we want to do the very best we can for the people who did the best they could for us. Looking ahead, I felt afraid – but I also wanted to understand, to feel prepared, to find a way to give my father comfort, security, dignity. His life may have begun winding down, but there could still be years of good times, friendships, laughs and love ahead.