Taking care of my 91-year-old mom in her final months of life, though horrifying to watch her decline, was in ways a lot of fun for us. I was allowed to ignore all my other responsibilities in life: writing, food shopping for the house, cleaning, banking, etc, because mom needed me all the time. She was in hospice at home and though she had full time care she wanted me there all the time. Strangely, given our “not so cuddly” relationship the past 65 years, I wanted desperately to be beside her. The aides shopped for her food and meds, the nurses attended her pain, and I told her stories, my favorite thing to do, and she told me hers. Stories I hadn’t heard. I realized I needed to. I learned more about her in these months than I had known all our lives. I learned how afraid she was of everything. I learned how knowledgeable she was about everything. I learned she remembered everything and, loved everyone, most of all my dad who had been gone by now for 8 years. She was funny, she was mean, she was demanding and she was so generous. There would be no more candied sweet potatoes, no more mystery potato things she made at holidays, and no more of her soup. Pain in the ass all my life. Turns out she was my life and now I wait for her annoying phone call every morning and night.