The Tangerine Conundrum

It was when JD suffered a second stroke that matters came to a head in the Meerchand household. There was no way Birla could continue nursing him around the clock when she was getting frail herself. He would have to go into a nursing home.

The problem was that JD refused to go unless Birla accompanied him. Birla suspected it was a point of honour for JD to have her, his wife, accompany him to what would probably be his last repository.

Anjali, their daughter, visited several nursing homes. After long discussions with the administrator about the need for both her parents to enter the facility together, she selected the Fern Hill Long Term Care Facility in Leaside. It was housed in a modern building, adjoining a small park. On the warm April day when Anjali first visited Fern Hill, a few of its occupants were being walked or wheeled around the park by attendants in blue-grey uniforms. She tried to picture her father in one of the wheelchairs, hopefully with Birla wheeling him. It looked like a happy enough sort of place, with daffodils pushing their irrepressible cheer through the earth all over the park. Inside, lunch was being served in a light-filled dining room, with a pervading smell of boiled cabbage. Anjali resolved to bring in tiffins of curry and dhal.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 3. Purchase the book to read the full piece.

Toronto locations referenced in this piece

“After long discussions with the administrator about the need for both her parents to enter the facility together, she selected the Fern Hill Long Term Care Facility in Leaside . . . ” —Leaside

“After all, the efficient-looking nursing home was a step up from the dingy apartment they lived in at Dundas and Sherbourne . . . ” —Dundas & Sherbourne

“She took the afternoon off from her job as an archivist at Toronto Reference Library, leaving her with enough time to stop off at the home that she shared with Thomas . . . ” —Toronto Reference Library