Is Honesty Always the Best Policy? by Maureen Locher

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Maureen Locher photoWhere do I begin…to tell the story of how strange a time it’s been? These last four weeks have been a blur. It all began one afternoon when my almost 90-year-old dad fell and cracked his head open on the concrete. How my almost 91-year-old mom had the presence of mind to phone my brother is still beyond me. Yet she didn’t think to call 911 or punch the button on her own I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up-bracelet. There my dad lay in a pool of blood.

Since then our family has seen a hospital stay for my dad, and round-the-clock care for my mom, followed by THE MOVE for my dad into a skilled nursing facility, and my mom into the assisted living side. We knew the day would eventually come. And now it’s here. Luckily, we were somewhat prepared after having toured a place we all liked a few months ago – as much as the word “like” can be used in these circumstances.

So for the past weeks my life has not been my own in any conceivable way, shape or form. I have another life. What I once did, I no longer do. My house is a shambles. We eat out nearly every day. My writing consists only of daily e-mail updates to friends and family.

This is early May when my flowerbeds should all be cleaned out. I should be shopping at nurseries for colorful flowers to stick in the ground. Instead I am hit full force each day with the fragility and mortality of two people whom I love most in all the world. I realize my mom’s forgetfulness is so much more than mere forgetfulness; I watch my dad struggle to raise a two pound bar in physical therapy.

Sitting next to my mom at dinner on Mother’s Day, she turned to me and asked, “Is anything new with you?”

“No, Mom, not much.” Sometimes you just have to lie.

* A CatholicMom readers P.S. May 10, 2010 my parents celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary! May God hold them always in the palm of His hand.

Copyright 2010 Maureen Locher

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