Fanni Green with her daughter, Danyealah Green-Lemons, at StoryCorps in Tampa, Fla.
Fanni Green with her daughter, Danyealah Green-Lemons, at StoryCorps in Tampa, Fla. StoryCorps
When Pauline Green, 78, fell and broke her shoulder last year, the injury changed her life. Even after rehabilitating the shoulder, Green was not able to live on her own anymore. And that put her daughter, Fanni, in a difficult spot.
As Fanni recently told her own daughter, Danyealah Green-Lemons, the decision to move her mother into an assisted living facility did not come easily.
"Letting go, for my mother, was scary," Green said. "She would say, yes, she would go one day — and then no, she wouldn't go the next."
For advice on how to handle the situation, Green chose not to call a friend — instead, she called her best friend's mother.
The advice she got was simple: "Mothers can never resist their children when their children simply bare their hearts."
She shouldn't try to be strong, or make her mother do anything, Green was told. Instead, Green should "tell her you need her help, in order for you to help her."
Green did just that. And her mother said, "I will go — though I'm so scared. I will go."
As she remembers it, Green put her head in her mother's lap, and she cried. But her mother just looked off to the side, with her hand under her chin.
And then Pauline Green said, "Well, we'd better go do this before I change my mind."
Produced for Morning Edition by Katie Simon. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo. Recorded in partnership with WMNF in Tampa, Fla..