[Her mother] hit Wendy when she was a teenager who stumbled at night and awakened her. She hit Wendy when she was a bride-to-be trying on wedding gowns.
“To this day, when she hears something she doesn’t like, she still says, ‘I’ll smack you,’” Wendy told me in an interview.
Now her mother, who lives near her in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is 81 and no longer actually smacks anyone, though a penchant for sarcasm and nastiness endures.
So what, if anything, does Wendy owe her now? She knows her mother, though still healthy, will probably become more dependent. In fact, she already calls to demand that Wendy and her husband help with everything from feuds with neighbors to cable television problems.
Can she really turn her back on an elderly, ailing parent?
She knows something about what caregiving involves, having helped her beloved grandmother die at home, as she wished.
That bracelet and the days surrounding his giving it to me were the one bright beam of joy in an otherwise very dark time. My mother’s longterm...