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Caring for Your Parents

Chapter 11: Ricardo, Nelly and Raul [4:52]

"I'm the one who knows."

Raul's prostate cancer has returned. Without support from his sister or his wife, Ricardo's life gets harder.

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Transcript 

Chapter 11: Ricardo, Nelly & Raul “I'm the one who knows.”

NARRATOR:  

IN THE FALL RICARDO ARE HIS FATHER ARE BACK AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE.  THE PROSTATE CANCER WHICH HAD BEEN IN REMISSION IS BACK...

RICARDO:  

The doctor is very concerned about, obviously I am too, that the situation is moving very fast and that doesn't give us too many options.  

We know, by probably by winter or by December we will start to run out of luck now.  Unfortunately, it's the way that it is, it's kind of sad but...

NARRATOR:

IT'S BAD NEWS AND MORE...RICARDO'S WIFE DIOSA HAS LEFT... 

RICARDO:  

...we are separated and I think we are heading for a divorce.  I think we had too many open wounds.  I put too many responsibilities in my wife's shoulders and I demand a lot from her.  

DIOSA (SUBTITLE):

We are separated because of his mom. That was like a major role why we separated because really we...I was mad all the time and angry. 

NARRATOR:

NOW RICARDO IS CARING FOR HIS PARENTS ALONE...ONCE HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RELY ON THE HELP OF HIS SISTER...BUT THEY TOO HAVE BECOME ESTRANGED... 

RICARDO:  

One of the things that really hurts me is my sister.  She didn't have any desire to have any of them with her...

CARIDAD:  

Feliz Cumpleanos! 

NELLIE:  

Gracias. 

NARRATOR:

RICARDO'S SISTER CARIDAD LIVES IN NEW JERSEY.  SHE'S HAD HER UPS AND DOWNS...A DIVORCE...TWO TEENAGE DAUGHTERS...TODAY, SHE'S DRIVEN UP WITH ONE OF HER DAUGHTERS AND HER NEW HUSBAND.

CARIDAD:

Physically, she looks fine, she looks beautiful. She's amazing but I know in her mind she's far away. As soon as I walk in she didn't recognize meÉsoÉit's very, very hard for me to take this, you know, because I want to be in her memories but I know I'm not. So, it's very painful.  

NARRATOR:

SHE'S HAD TROUBLE FINDING WORK...THERE ARE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.  

CARIDAD:  

I cannot come and visit my mom and my father as much as I want because everything represents expenses, money. And unfortunately, I'm not a wealthy person.  

RICARDO:  

I told her you can call me anytime and ask me about my mother and my father, and she never call me. Ask me, and she knows I'm the one who deal with the doctors and everything so I'm the one who knows. If she has an interest why doesn't she at least call me? 

CARIDAD:  

Ricardo, my brother, he's doing more than myself. I know he's here, so I lay everything on him which is not right, so... 

DR. MICHAEL FINE:

There are many families across all situations in which there will be one child who's willing to do the work, and three or four children who are not. The kind of inter-family anger that sets up is pretty sad and pretty profound. Um, and it is--  You know, it's a really difficult problem.

CARIDAD:  

The guilt is inside you know? It's not my fault, I have to accept it this way, God decided it has to be this way ... 

But it's very, very, very sad... 

NARRATOR:

ON THIS DAY CARIDAD IS TAKING HER PARENTS OUT TO LUNCH...THE PARENTS...BITTERLY DIVORCED WILL SPEND THE DAY TOGETHER.  BUT IT WON'T BE HARD BECAUSE NELLIE, IN THE GRIP OF ALZHEIMER'S, BELIEVES TODAY IS HER 20TH BIRTHDAY...AND THAT HER FORMER HUSBAND RAUL IS ONE OF HER TEENAGE BOYFRIENDS...