Eight years ago my mother went into a nursing home after it became obvious that she could not manage on her own. When I began working on her house to get it realtor ready, I got calls almost every morning from one collection agency or another. Over a 5-year period at least, she had begun using credit cards to make ends meet and racked up about $8000 in debt. My first reaction was consternation since I had inherited my father’s hatred for owing money. My next impulse was to try to figure out a way to pay off the debt but an attorney friend told me that I was not really liable. Despite that knowledge, I was reluctant to tell the collection agencies that I was her son and crafted a new persona for the phone calls. Using an upstate NY drawl, I became “Lenny”, the handyman hired to work on the house who advised that Missus Proyect was in the nursing home, on Medicaid, and poorer than a church mouse.