This, not That.

A sheet of yellow legal paper stuck into my Oct-Nov 2003 journal contains these names and dates:

Jane - Nov 1 - 7th

CAROL - Nov 8th - 15th

Merv and Nancy - 21st - 30th for Thanksgiving

We three sisters were establishing a rotation schedule for helping my 89-year-old mother, who had Alzheimer’s, as she recovered from a broken hip.

            On October 15th, in some order, Mom fell, broke her hip, and had a heart attack, but which event precipitated the other two was unknowable. The surgery to repair her hip waited for her heart to stabilize. Without the surgery she would be condemned to bed and her life expectancy would be six months. Mom did not understand that her hip was broken, that she was going to have an operation, or that her chance of surviving it was fifty-fifty. My father did. Nancy greeted me on arriving the morning of the surgery saying, “Daddy has had more meltdowns than Chernobyl.”

[continue reading here: