Read this a few separate times and each time, it sunk in even more. That sorrow for someone in your care, who HAS family but is not supported by them in the ways that should matter most. I grew up home-schooled to a certain grade level, and when my grandma got sick, my mom would take my sibling and I to visit her every week or so (in another state but only 2 and a half hours away). My mom was the furthest away out of her three sisters, yet visited the most. One of her sisters worked right across the street from the nursing home yet there was always a reason why she didn't visit. Perhaps it was a focus on one's self over others, or fear, or not knowing how to adapt and care for someone who has dementia. We did schoolwork and studied if taking a weekday trip and I remember so many things about the nursing home, because we'd try to take my grandma around and visit her favorite spots, they had a bird they fed etc. We watched soap operas all together. It was the little things. I think some people don't want to or know how to open up when life does get harder, and there aren't clear answers already chosen; it's a call for that person to step up to the plate and can be way out of someone's comfort zone to confront and address a rocky future.
I liked the specifics in this, the repetition of the simple images that press even more importance on caring for your loved ones, even a quick visit or acknowledgement can mean the most.
Usually, I'm a proponent of never judging others and hoping that they just do their best, but sometimes the connection is so lost. When families think the only support needed or that they have time for is monetary. When there's not that heart-to-heart ability to communicate and there's almost a distance formed.
What makes this more heartbreaking is the fact that it happens way too often. My mom is in this line of work and she has told me so many stories just like this. It is absolutely disheartening. Even though some situations, the parents and children didn't have a good relationship to begin with. It is still sad. Some just see them as a burden and another bill to pay.