Book: Ino's Love by Marianne Sciuccocategories: Book, Caregiver, Elderly, Elder Care, Short Story, Christmas, Love, Home Health Aid, Caregiving
Marianne Sciuccoabout this book: It's Christmas Eve eve, and 80-year old Ino awaits a visit from her son Ray, the CEO of an internet startup based in Seattle. Ino lives in New York's Little Italy, and spends the day preparing Ray's favorite foods, all from scratch, much to the disapproval of Ruby, her home health aid. "Ino," she says, "you're going to wear yourself out with all this cooking. And you're out of the hospital not even two weeks." Ruby doesn't think much of Ray - "He's a lousy son" - but helps Ino prepare for their special dinner. As the narrative unfolds, we see that Ruby, a paid caregiver, is much closer to Ino than her son, knows her better, and has her well-being better in mind than Ray does. This is a moving story that shows those who love us best are not always family.
I wrote this story while working as a hospital nurse case manager. The goal was to present the home health experience in a positive light. Ino - short for Innocenzia - was named after a doctor I worked with. In the first draft of the story she was named Laura, which was a working name. I didn't know the doctor's first name was Innocenzia, but saw it on her business card. Intrigued, I asked her about it, and she told me her family called her Ino. Just like that, my character had her name.
This was a very easy story to write; it sort of flowed out of me. It's one of my favorites. It's available in audiobook, too, narrated by TV personality Terry Murphy of Hard Copy and Extra.
• "I adored this story. I felt as if I were in the room with the two women, and their relationship was so natural and so warm."
• "I felt myself sink into the story, somehow a welcome guest in Ino's life. And then the story was over - much too soon. And it left me terribly hungry for some Italian cooking. I do wonder what Ino's recipe tastes like!
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