Dad’s greatest fear

IMG00070My mom was on a short errand this month when I called the house. My dad answered the phone. After some small talk, my dad asked me a cryptic question: “Is there anything serious you want to tell me about your mother?” I thought for a minute, but couldn’t come up with any secrets my mother had recently shared or serious conversations we had over the past few weeks. “I can’t think of anything,” I told my dad, and he seemed OK with that reply. A few days later, I asked my mom if she knew what dad’s question was all about. Frustrated, she said, “Your dad has too much time on his hands to think! He’s worried I’m going to put him in a nursing home.” It dawned on me this line of thought has been on my dad’s mind a lot lately. Recently, my aunt and uncle invited my mom to visit them down South this winter for a week’s respite. My sister offered to care for my dad, who has advanced Parkinson’s disease, during that time. Many of us have encouraged my mom to go away for some respite time...