<sigh> My father was better for several years, Dennett, especially after Deb came into the family. He and my wife were best buds for a long time; but the encroaching dementia brought back the pettiness, selfishness, racism, narcissism… Deb (and my sister) were adamant for a long time that “it’s just the dementia talking,” so I shut up that this was the father I’d known in my youth. Deb now tells me, “I think you and your sister had very different childhoods,” and I have to agree. It wasn’t a *bad* childhood — I’ve read too many stories from people who had *so* many things far worse than I did — but there are so many things I do not wish to revisit, and dealing with my parents brings those memories crashing down on me. When my in-laws were in their last days, Deb would talk about the wonderful memories they gave her; in the case of my parents, alas, I remember things I’ve not thought about for a long time, and I feel anxiety and sadness (not the good kind).