When Meg Federico's eighty year-old mother and newly minted step-father were finally forced to accept full-time home care, she imagined them settling into a Norman-Rockwellian life of docile dependency. With a family of her own and a full time career - a thousand miles away from her parents - Federico hoped her mother and step-father would be able to take care of themselves for the most part, and call on their children when they really needed them. After all, why else would an eighty-year old woman remarry? But after a fall while vacationing in Florida, Federico's mother, Addie, sits bolt upright on her gurney and yells, "I demand an autopsy!" before passing out again. It's the first in a string of moments both heartbreaking and hilarious that make Welcome to the Departure Lounge such a riveting read. As she watches from the sidelines with horror, Federico's parents turn into terrible teens - with licenses to drink and drive. Fighting off onslaughts of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, Addie and Walter, forbidden to drink by doctors, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; Addie's attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight Voodoo; Walter's inhibitions decline as dementia increases and mail-order sex aides arrive at the front door. The list of absurdities goes on and on as Federico tries to take some control over her parents' lives - and her own. With her fresh and easy voice, Federico writes a story for the huge generation now dealing with the care of their parents. You'll laugh and cry as you take the raucous ride with Meg Federico in this powerful debut.
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Great writing and narration, story itself ...
A story of family, and aging parents
- Another Mitchell