Excerpts from the essay:
My mother and father had grown enfeebled at different rates, like leaves wafting past each other, one hitting a gust that would carry it past the other's gentle downward spiral. It was my father who first entered the nursing home, Mother still able to wash her best china for the ladies who came for afternoon coffee. But when Mother finally faltered, she came to the nursing home needing more care than Dad...
Sitting at (my mother's) bedside those long months, I'd flinched at the rage that howled from those damaged eyes, berating the world for its unfairness, rebuking me for not being able to help her. I became adept at seeing what she could not say. Sometimes I saw flashes of humor, not rage. Sometimes I saw love, at times a self-pity that left me impatient and annoyed, sometimes a rueful resignation that caught me unaware and tore my heart more than the rage, the humor, or even the love.