my father and i did not kill each other on my recent trip to help him care for my mother. there was screaming in english (me). italian (him). arguing in front of the visiting nurse who asked who makes my mom’s medical decisions. “i do” we both yelled.

i took the quick 2 hour train ride this time instead of renting a car. i saved about $400 and which caused my blood pressure to go about 15 points. nancy, the visiting RN, checked my mom’s vital signs which were all pretty good.

“nancy, can you check mine,” my still very handsome father smiled .

“of course carmine. i would be happy to.”

it’s amazing that age 80 women still like to help my father. he’s 6 feet 2 inches. a full head of wavy hair. beautiful hazel blue eyes. this trip was the first time i ever noticed the color of his eyes. there are not brown like mine or my mother’s. his thick italian accent.

“nancy, can you check my pressure, too?”

“oh alright.” it wasn’t like the response to my dad’s request, but a yes nonetheless.

of course i came in last. i had the worst pressure out of my dementia diagnosed mother, my father with mild parkinson’s, and me. a 47 year old slightly overweight over-assimilated first generation american.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.