Four years ago, at 8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, my mother died. A few hours earlier I had taken a brief break from my vigil in the hospice to wander through an excessively air-conditioned Florida mall. The kiosks were overflowing with heart-shaped Mylar balloons, stuffed bears, and chocolate roses. As I surveyed the depressingly cheerful Valentine’s paraphernalia, I thought: I really should bring her something.
The guilt of caring for elderly parents
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