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Dorothy's Gifts

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It seemed like all my friends were getting married and I was always a bridesmaid. 

I was on my way to graduate school. A family friend, Dorothy Harro gave me two gifts. 

The first was a set of Pfaltzgraff dishes that I still use today. She didn’t want me to feel left out with all these weddings. She said she was proud of me and my independence.

The second was a day trip to go canoeing on Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. We marveled at how mysterious a black line of rain looked. 

 

I must have told her about my fear of taking care of my parents when they became old and feeble. This fear carried over to my husband’s mother. I was afraid of being swallowed up by her need. 

 

As the rain approached, Dorothy talked about how people from church sang to her dying father in those final moments. The load on her, the awfulness lifted. She said it would for me, too. 

 

She was right. A few years later, my parents were here. And then they were gone, spared the slow decline and loss of their powers, the indignities of a nursing home. Wiping my mother-in-law’s bottom was beyond me, but her caregiver took such good care of her; she had no bedsores even though she had been bedridden for a year. 

Dorothy was right. My terror did not come true. 

 

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective. 

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