Being there for your parents, helping them in their declining years when they need it is looked down on by our modern society. Especially when it means personal sacrifice.
Even knowing what I know now about how things have shaken out for me after Mom's death, I wouldn't change my decision to be there for her and help her through her last few years on Earth. People look down on you, they think you're lazy, they belittle your decision; when the parent dies and it's hard to make your way back into the workforce people blame you for it, tell you that it's your own damned fault and if you hadn't been so lazy you wouldn't be in this situation. They have no sympathy, neither for the parent nor the caretaker. They may tell you, while you are caring for the parent, that it's good you're there; but after the parent passes on your sacrifice holds no water and makes no difference.
But it matters, and I would not change what I did, because it was the right thing to do.
Elizabeth Scalia reminds us of the importance of human life, though.
Recognizing that it's good that someone exists, though, does not mean that you must allow toxic people in your life; it only means you must acknowledge the good in their existence and pray that they will find surcease from the burdens that make them so toxic in the first place.
It's a hard thing to do, and further it's hard to remember to do it. I've made a habit out of never wishing for anyone's death, no matter how evil they are, but that's about as far as I can go with the worst of us. I don't celebrate the deaths of bad people (Yassir Arafat, for example, or Kim Jong-il) but I usually am satisfied when they're gone--and even that's pretty bad of me.
Ultimately this kind of story makes me realize that I am so very, very far from being good that I--like Ms. Scalia--can only hope for Purgatory, because what I deserve is so much worse.