When Diana, a lonely housewife, falls for Daniel–her daughter Annie’s teenage crush—she will stop at nothing to ensure he stays in her life. In Machiavellian style, Diana betrays her daughter, secretively designing, controlling, and planning Annie’s future. It isn’t until years later, when Annie discovers letters exchanged by her mother and Daniel, that she learns the truth and sees the manipulation and lies that led her to a doomed marriage.
Twenty years later, when Diana is diagnosed with dementia and Annie is forced to be her mother’s caretaker, she must come to terms with her mother’s betrayal, her husband’s deceit, and her own desire for love and happiness, all the while managing to maintain her sanity and sense of humor. Based on a true story, this book will shock, entertain, and astound you.
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With her finger pointed straight at me, hate in her eyes, and through gritted teeth, my mother said, “You have betrayed me, and I will never forgive you for this.”
The wounded child in me, let’s call her Patsy, silently said, And you are an expert in the field of betrayal, aren’t you, Mother? You want to talk about betrayal? Let’s talk about 1979. Let’s talk about my entire life…
But Annie, the adult me, said out loud, “I’m sorry. I wish you could see I’m doing this for you and not to you.”
Many years before, my mother had given me power of attorney, and today I was invoking it because her mental and physical health had deteriorated to a point where she could no longer live alone. Anybody and everybody who knew her could see it was the right thing to do. But dementia had taken every drop of rational thinking from my mother’s brain, and she was vehemently opposed to leaving her house, and not shy about giving us a piece of her mind, if you’ll pardon the expression.
I’d tried to broach the subject of her moving for weeks, but she immediately shut me down each time. I tried to talk to her about getting home health care, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She was falling daily, and in fact just a week before had fallen and hurt her leg so badly she’d been bedridden for days. This was after she threw up in her kitchen, then fell, and laid in her vomit for hours before she had enough strength to crawl down the long hall to her bed. And she didn’t see anything wrong with that.
But it was her inability to see she’d been conned out of four thousand dollars that finally bought her a one-way ticket to assisted living. She had hired a man to do some yard work for her, and he had quickly assessed her situation: wealthy older woman, living alone, without all of her mental faculties. Ripe for the picking. He showed up daily, knocked on her door, told her she owed him seven hundred seventy dollars, and she wrote him a check, no questions asked.
She not only wouldn’t believe the man was conning her, she was furious with me when I called the Crimes Against The Elderly Unit. It wasn’t until the detective showed her the man’s mug shot that she finally conceded maybe the yard man hadn’t been completely honest with her. But she still failed to see the gravity of the situation.
“So I lost some money. Big deal. I don’t see what everybody’s so upset about.”
So there I was, with two employees from the assisted living facility, standing in my mother’s bedroom for over an hour, trying to convince her she needed help. Appealing to her vanity, it wasn’t until they managed to get her a hair appointment at SeniorHome, that she finally conceded to go there for a few days. Don’t pack lightly, Mom…
But even with all of the turmoil of the day, the one word that kept running through my mind was betrayal. How dare she accuse me of that after what she did to me. How dare she.