The Tenderhook’s elderly Mom is in the hospital. All long distance siblings got a 2 AM emergency a frantic call from a local sister asking them to travel up to 3000 miles to be by her side. They all flew in. Gathering over their mother’s bed, jet lagged, exhausted and sugar high from the vending machine junk food, the only hospital nutrition available at 11 PM.
The solemn white-coated doctor came in at 7:00 AM the next morning and told them that Mom needed home care. Hearing that, the mother almost retched, glaring at all the adult kids and then at the doctor. She will have none of it. The physician informs the siblings that, with no 24-hour care at home their mother will have to be moved to a skilled nursing facility. Tears spilled down the aging Mom’s face, now streaked with terror and rage.
None of the Tenderhook clan had a plan before this happened. In fact, they had never met together to solve a big problem. The sister who lives nearby, acidly points her finger at all of the rest for not helping. The older brother tries to take charge and is steamrolled by the baby of the family. One sister, who has not talked to the others in years, strides out the sterile, safety-glassed door. The doctor throws up his hands and texts for the hospital social worker. With everyone edgy and nervous, the medical social worker arrives. She suggests a family meeting. They all look at her with suspicion. What is a sibling family meeting?