Irene Atkinson grew up in Texas, steeped in European culture: her parents spoke Polish in the house, and her family socialized in Houston’s large Polish-American community.  But the family fabric was disrupted when Irene’s father died; several years later, her mother—a lifelong pre-school teacher—moved in with Irene because her mother was showing signs of dementia.  In today’s show: how Irene, a stay-at-home mom, is adjusting to watching her kids grow and thrive while her mother goes in the opposite direction.  Irene talks about how she and her husband manage privacy issues, the challenges she’s faced finding support services and the guilt-inducing experience of having her mom stay with her sister one day a week so Irene can get a break.  A story of devotion, heartache and fortitude from Austin, Texas.

Irene and her mom.


Music: “Wounds” (remix) by Ketsa | CC BY NC ND | Free Music Archive