She’s having such a hard time of it now that my grandfather’s been diagnosed with lung cancer. He’s got a good prognosis so far, but it’s hard on her. My grandmother Monique (77) can’t be left alone because she falls and is very weak, and now that my grandfather Art (84) is having tests and surgeries, she’s really shouldering all the responsibility (not to mention her own stressful job, 2 dogs, 1 cat and a horse to take care of). I really admire her for what she’s doing because my grandparents aren’t always very appreciative of what she does. I know that is really hard for her to take.

My mom (Michele) harbors anger toward her brother (uncle Mike) because he isn’t here to be forced to take care of the day to day details of their lives. Sometimes she takes it out on me because I’m not there either (even though I do live within two hours of my mom and grandparents). That’s really hard for me to take from her. It’s been happening for several years now and has been steadily increasing along with their health issues.

I know I don’t always deal with her criticism in the correct way. On several occasions I’ve suggested therapy to her, and jeez that makes her mad. But I really think it would help! What I do try to do is remind her that as hard as it is, she’s doing the right thing. She’ll be able to live with a clear conscience one day when they’re gone, and that’s what it important.