A Philadelphia novelist narrates her experience providing end-of-life care for her grandmother, who lived to be 101 and proves to be a much more complicated woman than the one who spoiled her young granddaughter, having survived a family history of racist oppression in the Jim Crow South.
...a thoroughly engaging memoir ... It is Cary's recounting of her upbringing and ancestry that provide the most engaging parts of Ladysitting. Her family is a fascinating pastiche, and her narration captivates with humor and forthrightness ... Her strength and clear-sighted resolve, as well as the support she receives from the loving family she has created, form an important and uplifting through line to this memoir. Cary may have demons to tackle, but she does so with admirable grace ... Read Ladysitting...for its candor and singular take on a familiar tale.
Ladysitting is not just a caregiving memoir; it’s also a dive into Cary’s own history—one in which her family immigrated from Barbados to America, then endured the oppression of the South ... What resonates loudest in Ladysitting, however, is the love that Cary gives back to her grandmother, even as caregiver’s fatigue sets in ... Cary shows the ugly, exhausting side of caregiving, but she also shows how the hardship bespeaks something more powerful: unconditional familial love.
Between stories of her grandmother’s antics (bedpans, bee stings, breakfasts in bed, a parade of 'incompetent' nurses), Cary shares her larger family history, placing the aging woman in her house in the context of her matriarchy and descendants. Cary is candid about the stress of how long her grandmother held on ... With admiration, triumph, and love, Cary captures the universal experience of close family loss.