This Is Us

The Pain of the L.L. Bean Catalog

My aging parents have hijacked the simple pleasures.

Adeline Dimond
Human Parts
Published in
9 min readJul 24, 2022


Photo by James Fitzgerald on Unsplash

It’s been a rough few weeks, shoved into a rough few years. I know everyone else has experienced the same dumpster fire world for years, and I know that wanting to throw myself off a cliff after two years of taking care of my elderly parents is overly dramatic, privileged, weak. But that’s where I’m at. I guess I’m also ending sentences with prepositions now, which tells you a lot.

My parents sort of planned for old-age, but not really. They bought long-term care insurance, paid off their house, and had a decent amount of savings, but they didn’t make any decisions. They just let themselves slowly decline, together, in a house that they let fall apart. When my father’s Parkinson’s got so bad that he was pushing himself around the house in a desk chair, they still made no decisions.

When I asked my mother how she let my father get so bad, so undignified, she looked at me coolly and said “he’s an adult.” I burst into tears and screamed something like “well then what is marriage for?” Then I went outside and threw up into the strawberry plants, holding on to the railing of the new wheelchair ramp I had installed in a panic. My father was passed out in a living room chair at the time, the mucous in his mouth…