Off The Recordby Mike Farragher
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Despite living a safe distance from the coast, my friend Peggie bore the brunt of the last hurricane that cut a path through the Garden State.
Right after trees crashed on top of her cars and house, the insurance company dispatched contractors to make the repairs. On one Saturday morning, her 89-year-old father Mick Madden from Portumna, Co. Galway went to inspect the work of the Brazilian crew that buzzed around her property.
Thirty-eight miles separate my house from that of my mother’s.
It takes about 50 minutes for Eileen’s 77-year-old husband to drive her here, 63 if you count the pit stop at the pet store to get bully sticks for their grand dogs to chew on. When my mother calls to announce that she is running errands in the area and would like to drop by for tea, we know we have an hour, give or take, to get the house in tip-top shape.
My wife and I have been perusing brochures of assisted living facilities now that my mother-in-law has fallen harder and more often than the euro has this year. It reminds me of this recurring daydream that flash-forwards everyone into the future.
My 15-year-old daughter Annie is 45 now and she is pushing a large cart through the Costco warehouse. She is standing between a pallet of Depends male undergarments and the Kirkland store-brand adult diapers that Consumer Reports has just announced might run the risk of leaking on the sides. She labors over the decision on what to swaddle my incontinent fat white rear in for a moment.
Right before she chooses, the dream curtains part to reveal my 13-year-old daughter Maura in her 43-year-old form as she tours the wings of a nursing home.