When their mother falls bedridden, two sisters promise to care for her, but the eldest sister claims she already has two children and cannot care for an invalid.

Following the discovery of Silvia Dance’s Parkinson’s illness at the age of 70, her two daughters agreed that it was now too risky for her to live alone in that massive old mansion.

Two of her kids, Rita and Grace, met to discuss how they could support their mother. They suggested to Silvia that she visit each daughter for three months and that her enormous, lavish home could be rented to cover some of her living costs. And for a while, it was effective.

At first, Rita’s family, including her husband and two children, found it novel. Her son-in-law adored Silvia, who was always a favorite among the grandchildren. Grandma was readily available to watch the children and always assisted the mother.

Silvia struggled a little with movement, but she was an outgoing, proactive person who was more than willing to cook, bake cookies, and assist the kids with homework. She’s a gift, I tell you. Rita’s husband, Paul, cried, “She was right, but Parkinson’s is a progressive illness.”


The same affection and devotion our elders showed us during their later years should be shown to them.

After living with Grace for three months, Silvia was slower and less nimble when she finally returned to Rita. When she visited Rita’s house again two years later, she used a walking frame and had a lot of trouble getting around.

She was no longer the entertaining grandma. Her speech was affected, and her left hand trembled unceasingly from spasms. Rita felt stunned. She hadn’t anticipated her mother to have such an extreme degeneration!

Silvia doted on her two daughters and they were devoted to her, until she became ill. | Source: Unsplash

Silvia doted on her two daughters, who were devoted to her until she became ill. | Source: Unsplash

Instead of offering a welcome helping hand, Silvia irritated Rita, especially after the latter confessed that she had begun to lose control of her bladder. For Rita, that was the deciding factor. After all, her kids no longer needed diapers! She had believed that she was well past such painful tasks.

After speaking with her husband, Rita decided to employ a carer for Silvia. The monthly income from Silvia’s five-bedroom Malibu home, which had been several thousand dollars, was suddenly required to pay the carer.

Rita was angry. The family had become accustomed to some quite pleasant extras, so the money had come in very helpful. They were now required to spend it on a carer! It was plain unfair. To discuss their mother’s deteriorating condition, Rita called Grace and requested a meeting.

Look, Rita commanded. I’ll tell you: It’s getting harder and harder to keep mum around my place, OK? Hal is currently eight years old, while Katie, who is thirteen, is in that uncomfortable stage.

Silvia was in her early 70s when doctors gave her the terrible diagnosis. | Source: Unsplash

Silvia was in her early 70s when doctors gave her a terrible diagnosis. | Source: Unsplash

“I honestly think it’s unfair to them to live with a woman who no longer controls her bodily functions. Paul and I always tried to give the children an upbeat upbringing, but it’s impossible if mom is there drooling and peeing in her nappy!”

Grace was stunned. “I don’t understand, Rita! Six months ago, you were so happy…”

“Six months ago, she was functional, OK?” Rita snapped. “Honestly, I never thought things would get this bad this quickly. The doctors say she’s not reacting to the medication; it’s just not working. You’re not married, you’re free as a bird, and having mom there full time won’t affect you, especially if the caregiver continues with you,” Rita said persuasively.

At first Silvia was a great help to Rita's family. | Source: Pexels

At first, Silvia was a great help to Rita’s family. | Source: Pexels

“So you’d have nothing to do with caring for Mom?” asked Grace, astounded.

“Oh, of course, I’d visit every weekend! ” said Rita. “And if you needed to get away once in a while, I can take her for a few days — so long as I have an adequate warning.”

“I see,” Grace said quietly. “Well, you can rest easy, Rita; I’ll take care of Mom. You don’t have to worry.”

Rita was ecstatic. She went home and told her mother about the change.

“Mom, you’ll be moving to Grace’s early and staying there permanently. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the kids are growing and need a lot more of our time…”

Rita had to hire a caregiver for Silvia. | Source: Pexels

Rita had to hire a caregiver for Silvia. | Source: Pexels

Silvia was stunned. “I’m sorry,” she said slowly. “I suppose I’ve been a burden…”

“Not at all!” cried Rita cheerfully. “It’s just, you know…I need time and privacy to be with my family, and your problem isn’t easy…”

Silvia was crying when Grace arrived to pick her up, and she remained silent the entire hour-long drive to Grace’s house. Grace tried to speak to her mother, but she only hid her face in her hands and sobbed.

Silvia said that evening after dinner, “I never wanted to ruin your life, to be a burden to you. I wish I were dead!”

Silvia was devastated to be a burden to her daughters. | Source: Pexels

Silvia was devastated to be a burden to her daughters. | Source: Pexels

“Dead?” cried Grace, horrified. “Mom, what are you talking about? I love you so much; I need you!”

Silvia, though, started crying hysterically. “My diaper, I need to change it, and I can’t do it! All these disgusting tasks will fall to you!”

Grace embraced her mother in an embrace. “I love you, Mom, and cleaning your tushie isn’t going to be any different from cleaning mine for all those years. When I was a baby, you cared for, fed, and protected me. Now it’s my turn to help you. It’s not a burden when it’s done with love.”

Silvia sobbed joyfully. She was confident that Grace would look out for her and take good care of her throughout the rest of her life. As for Rita, she initially paid a visit once a week, but as time passed, her trips became fewer and fewer.

Rita was horrified and surprised to learn a year later that Grace was receiving the full amount of the rental property’s high income since Silvia had revised her will to include Grace as the sole beneficiary.

"You cared for me, fed me, and protected me -- now it's my turn to help you." | Source: Unsplash

“You cared for, fed, and protected me — now it’s my turn to help you.” | Source: Unsplash

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