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I was struck by her observation that one day her mother was fine, and then a myriad of little things, none of which were going to kill her, appeared on the scene and totally changed the landscape of their relationship (my paraphrase).

The reason this struck me so poignantly is that until 11 years ago, I lived with many little things that would not have killed me. Then, in the course of one night, I was struck by a major catastrophic loss that redefined life as I knew it. Now, at 62, although I keep trying to undo the effects of that blow, so that I can continue to have some semblance of my former life, I know there are no guarantees that such will be the case and I may continue to age with these traumatic health challenges...a daunting prospect indeed! (Or, I may die tonight. I'm actually glad I'm not privy to that information.)

My interest was also piqued by her description of how she and her brother dealt with their respective caregiving roles; my daughter has been an absolute pillar of strength during this nightmarish season of my life, offering compassion and kindness almost without fail, while my son has pulled away and only occasionally checks in when he can handle it. Actually, I think that one of the biggest gifts of this experience is the empathy my grandchildren have developed as the result of having a grandmother with disabilities and severe limitations. I think that has made them bigger and better people.

Thanks, as always, for the deep and thought-provoking program.