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The Coming Tsunami
by Mike Penny

Like many offspring, Paul Giessen and Anna May Noble, are drawn back into decisions regarding their respective elderly parents in their later years. Long ago they were lovers and expected to wed but – inexplicably – split up instead. For over three decades thereafter only a deep and seething hatred for each other remains.

Partially because of a troubled father-son relationship, Paul Giessen believes his father, Tim, should be immediately dispatched to a nursing home upon learning he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His mother Wanda disagrees, believing such action premature and so she cares for Tim at home. In the months that follow, Wanda’s chronic heart condition deteriorates and surgery becomes a necessity.

After the operation, Wanda asks on her deathbed that Anna May Noble promise never to let Paul “throw his father away like an old shoe” – by dumping him in an institution and forgetting him forever. Telling no one of her promise to “Auntie” Wanda, Anna May and her father Charley then take care of Tim Giessen – until Charley Noble’s unusual and embarrassing dementia renders him incapable of caring for his best friend.

From there, thwarting Paul Giessen's efforts to quickly dispose of his father in an institution, Anna May quits her job to take care of “Uncle” Timmy fulltime and fulfill her deathbed promise to “Auntie” Wanda, even as she must simultaneously deal with her father Charley and his socially devastating dementia.

Paul Giessen refuses to relent, yet in the end Paul and Anna May must confront what came between them so many years ago and somehow do the right thing for their fathers, Tim and Charley.
 

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