Mom, Dad..Can We Talk? with Dick Edwards and Ruth Weispfenning (2009)

Publisher: Wheatmark


This is a book for the adult children in America, the “sandwich generation” of boomers, for whom aging-parent issues and care concerns are an increasing reality. The book is conversational, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always informative, and encouraging. It is rich with nearly one hundred personal stories and quotes from adult children who have journeyed with their parents through their later years. I wrote this book at the request of Dick Edwards, Charter House Administrator, and worked closely with him and Ruth Weispfenning, Charter House Director of Resident Services, in doing so.



Four weeks before our mother died, we didn’t know it was four weeks before our mother died. Mother had just completed a round of intense chemotherapy for her cancer. My sister, Martha, believed Mother was strong enough to enjoy a weekend in Chicago. My three brothers and I agreed.

Martha holds an executive position in her company. She called Mom to say, “Mom, I have a speaking engagement in Chicago. You’re feeling better, why don’t you come with me? I’m staying at a lovely hotel on Michigan Avenue. We’ll do the weekend up right. You can get some needed rest, too. We’ll even have room service.” Mom said yes.

A limo met Mom and Martha at the airport and whisked them to their downtown hotel. The bellboy escorted them to their suite on the top floor. Martha could almost read Mom’s thoughts: “My daughter must really be important if she is treated like this.” As they dressed for dinner, there was a knock at the door. “Who could that possibly be?” asked Mom.

“I have no idea.” said Martha. “I’m not quite ready. Can you get the door?”  Mom opened the door to see me and my brothers dressed to the nines in tuxedos, beaming with smiles and extending a bouquet of roses.

That weekend was all about Mom. She was the queen! We wined and dined and squired her around Chicago. We shared many memories and a few tears. It was perfect. Four weeks later, we buried our mother.