Saturday, January 14, 2012


Marie’s husband dropped dead on a golf course. She was surrounded by friends and family who continue to involve her months after the funeral.

Marianne’s husband became belligerent and forgetful. Because of his behavior in restaurants and other social situations, friends stopped calling. At age 56 he was eased out of his sales position and she was forced to stay home with an unpredictable man.

Marie’s husband was singularly dead. Marianne’s husband is living but dead to the joy and loving relationship they used to share. Marie received sympathy. Marianne is avoided, alone and criticized by relatives who never see the conflict.

Harold’s wife fought him tooth and nail as he attempted to dress and toilet her. She now smiles across the breakfast table, “You’re a nice man, but if you don’t get out of this house before my husband comes home, he’ll call the police.”

Herman was born in 1920 and served in World War II. He accuses his black caregiver of using his walker, hiding his television remote, stealing into his room at night and taking his valuables, etc. The caregiver works day shift. But Herman lived in a racist world and has Dementia. We live with Herman in ambiguity.

Bettina has two children, cares for her incapacitated grandmother, works two jobs and takes on-line classes. She needs welfare but doesn’t receive enough to place her on a two-year track to her nursing degree, a good job and financial health.

No one likes ambiguity, but there it is.

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