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Buttered Nostalgia: Feeding My Parents During #COVID19

The author uses poetic inquiry as CFIC (critical family and interpersonal communication) methodology to tell a story of cooking, cleaning, and caring for her elderly parents in the house she grew up in during the COVID-19 pandemic for 11 days in March 2020 when COVID-19 lockdowns began in the US. The piece is organized as a series of daily menus, lyric reflections, and narrative poems about family stories, family values, and the enactment of supportive behaviors that detail how a family deals with political differences, identity negotiation, and crisis. The author asks: (1) What does it mean to be a good daughter, and how is this complicated by discourses about the meaning of marriage?; (2) How does one reconcile family differences in political views and hold true to family and personal values?; and (3) How does one decide what obligations to focus on during a moment of personal and international crisis? The use of poetic inquiry shows how public cultural discourses influence private experience.

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Journal of Social & Personal Relationships
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