Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Mother Lies

We had an elderly female relative, let’s call her Gracie, who had always been embarrassed that she was older than her husband. She always lied about her age. When Gracie died, my mom was the one who ordered her gravestone – and Mom gave the monument company the birth date Gracie had always claimed, rather than her true one.

Mom is one of the few people who visits another elderly female relative, let’s call her Helen, in her nursing home. Helen, at 94, doesn’t always know the difference between dream and reality. When my mom asks her how she is, Helen will sometimes say, “Oh, wonderful. My mother was just here to visit me.” To which my mother will reply, “Oh, that’s so nice, Helen. And how is she?”

The last time Mom did this, Helen reported that her mother had brought babka and shared it with all the nurses, who said it was wonderful. Maybe my mom isn’t the only one to embrace Helen’s version of truth.

In regular, daily life, I correct error without even thinking about it. I think most people do. But it’s good to remember that everything doesn’t always have to be 1,000% accurate.

In fact, sometimes being a liar is a wonderful thing to do.


  1. Its not lying, its validating.

  2. When my grandmother got near her "end of life" she would tell us so vividly of the visits she was having with her sister,(that had passed on). She became so happy and lively, we just listened and let her have her joy. Maybe there is a "thin veil to the other side". She made us believe...