Welcome to the Departure Lounge: Adventures in Mothering Mother

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Random House Publishing Group, Feb 10, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
The adventure begins when Meg’s mother, Addie, vacationing in Florida, takes a spill. At the hospital, Addie bolts upright on her gurney and yells “I demand an autopsy!” before passing out cold.

“One minute, she is unconscious, the next, she’s nuts,” observes Meg Federico in this hilarious and poignant memoir of taking care of eighty-year-old Addie and her relatively new (and equally old) husband, Walter, in their not-so-golden years.

Addie’s accident is a portent of things to come over the next two years as Meg oversees her mother’s home care in the Departure Lounge, the nickname Meg gives Addie and Walter’s house in suburban New Jersey. It is a place of odd behaviors and clashing caregivers, where chaos and confusion reign supreme.

Meg had expected that Addie and Walter would settle into a Rockwellian dotage of docile dependency. Instead the pair regress into terrible teens. Meg watches from the sidelines in disbelief as her mother and stepfather, forbidden by doctors to drink, conspire to order cases of scotch by phone; as Addie’s attendant accuses the evening staff of midnight voodoo; as the increasingly demented Walter’s sex drive becomes unbridled and mail-order sex aids are delivered to the front door. Meg jumps in to cope with the pandemonium–even as she struggles to manage her own family back in Nova Scotia.

With a fresh voice and a keen eye for the absurd, Meg Federico writes a story that will resonate with the generation now caring for their parents. Welcome to the Departure Lounge is a moving and madcap chronicle of a family–their moments of joy, the memories they’d rather forget, and the just plain loopiness of their situation. “How’s life at the Departure Lounge?” Meg’s brother asks. Meg doesn’t know where to start. “Let’s just say the drinks are outrageous, and they never run out of nuts.”
 

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WELCOME TO THE DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Adventures in Mothering Mother

User Review  - Kirkus

Canadian humorist Federico debuts with a frank account of managing the home care of her aging mother, Addie, and Addie's recently acquired second husband, Walter.When living on their own in West Palm ... Read full review

emotional

User Review  - mtag - Borders

You find yourself laughing at the absurdity of the situation and her wry humor at the same time you're crying at how sad things are at the departure lounge. As someone going through a similar ... Read full review

Contents

zze e deMann an autºpsy
28
zzº 22 Pass The sauce
75
zze ºr Digging unwn
109
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About the author (2009)

Meg Federico regularly writes humor for the National Post. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Shambhala Sun, and Agni Magazine (Boston University Press). She has written commentary and created documentaries for CBC Radio. For several years, she wrote a successful column, “Transitions: Issues in Caregiving,” for the Halifax Daily News. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her family.

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