If you are not a regular reader of The New York Times New Old Age blog, take a few minutes to read the post by Perry Klass, M.D., She Wasn’t So Ungrateful After All. Dr. Klass, a pediatrician and a writer, penned this May 27, 2014 remembrance of her mother, Sheila Solomon Klass, also a writer, who lost much of her sight and needed the support of her adult children. Actually Dr. Klass’ essay was more than a remembrance. It was a tribute.
If you are a regular reader of The New York Times New Old Age blog you probably did read Mrs. Klass’ (the mom not the physician) 2013 blog post, A Very Ungrateful Old Lady, vividly describing her frustration as well as the challenges she faced as she increasingly depended on the support of her adult children. If you did not read it, please do. Mrs. Klass died about six months after her article was published.
I’ve been reading the work of Dr. Klass for years. When my daughter first thought about becoming a physician, way back in middle school, a physician friend gave me a short book, Baby Doctor: A Pediatrician’s Training, about Klass’ resident training in the years that followed medical school. Years later I recommended Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In, co-written by Dr. Klass and Eileen Costello, M.D., to a number of parents whose children I taught. I’ve read just about everything she’s published — her books, her blog posts, and her articles — all of them in some way connecting doctoring, children, and life.
So now Dr. Klass shares insight and more than a few pithy thoughts about the challenges faced by an adult child watching a parent age, but the preface to her post was her mother’s sobering but humorous article pointing out that even the slightest amount of support from an adult child makes her — well just about any aging parent — uncomfortable. Most adult children will identify with both essays, easily understanding the dynamics.
I ‘m sharing these New Old Age blog pieces with my parents.