From a distance of a thousand miles
and an even greater emotional remove,
a daughter attempts to care for her ailing mother.
This personal narrative charts
the missteps and roadblocks
encountered in navigating
her mother's end of life journey.
The author explores her struggle
to honor her mother's autonomy
even as her parent descends into the
hostile world of advanced Parkinson's disease.
I've published a series of short memoir pieces on Amazon about my experiences taking care of my mother during the last years of her life. She lived in Virginia and I was here in Vermont, often worried and always wondering how she was managing. These stories take us from the time she lived independently in senior housing, through the year or so she was in assisted living, and finally to the time when she came to Vermont to the nursing home.
Most of the pieces were drafted during or soon after my visits to Virginia. They convey the confusion, frustration, and guilt I felt as I witnessed my mother's rapidly declining health and struggled with her unwillingness to move to the next level of care.
These are not happy stories, but they are one version of the almost universal experience of looking after an aging and ill parent.
If there is a message here, it is that we are not alone and that there is no one way to meet the challenges of caring for an ailing loved one.
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