Desperate times call for desperate measures. That’s what they say, right? Well, my friends, my family is indeed experiencing desperate times, brought on by bad choices, broken systems, and lack of options.

I’ve written before about my dad. While not my biological father, he has been there in all of the ways that count for as long as I can remember. He stepped up and raised me when he didn’t have to, and for that he has my unending respect. We’re family, and family takes care of each other.

It is now my turn to help take care of the man who helped take care of me. Running errands, grocery shopping, and various other tasks are things I have started to do. And it has me questioning my choices.

This weekend I ran to the store to pick up a few things for my parents. Dad had been in the hospital all week and Mom was not comfortable leaving him home alone while she coordinated medications and other things. So off I went to Shop Rite with a list. I made it plain that I was not comfortable buying meat or dairy-based yogurt, and I didn’t. But I brought home pudding and non-food items like laundry detergent that may have been tested on animals (is Purex cruelty-free?). Does this make me a hypocrite?

I ask not so you can judge me, and I’m certainly not turning in my vegan card. But I wonder what others do in situations where money and resources are nil and caring for a loved one becomes part of your life. What would you do? How would you cope?

Photo credit: Lettuce via Flickr