When a person has reached the age of 95, there have been so many beginnings. There is the beginning of school, the beginning of a career, the beginning of a family, the beginning of retirement, and the beginning of the end.
Yesterday, Elizabeth Duke was a brilliant teacher. Today, she has been diagnosed with dementia. Yesterday, everyone sought her wisdom and her company. Today is the beginning of the end. Anne Rutledge is the great-niece of “Aunt Bette.” She and her young family share the Southern homeplace with Aunt Bette. Now Anne must become the caregiver for her great-aunt while attempting to continue a career and rear a family. Through the unending frustrations of doctors, home care nurses and nursing home employees, Anne comes to understand the truth about aging: Society cares about citizens as long as they are productive. Aunt Bette’s life has become a glaze; yet in her moments of lucidity, her brilliance and color are illuminated.