Since I am not married and because my parents are loving and kind, my mother has borne the brunt of my physical and emotional caretaking these past few months as I struggled with decision-making and the eventual decision’s realities. She’s the one who has heard me most often respond to the question, “Do you want me to bring you a book?” with a matter-of-fact, “No, I’d rather watch TV.” Each time I’ve heard myself say this, I’ve watched her try not to judge me out of parental concern.

“Now That Books Mean Nothing.” — Nell Boeschenstein, The Morning News

More #longreads from Boeschenstein: “A Song for Aretha.” The Morning News, Feb. 3, 2011