Tim Bauerschmidt left home when he was 19. He would call or visit his parents in Michigan occasionally. Decades went by.
After his father died last year, he knew his mother couldn't live by herself. She was 90, and he realized he didn't know her that well.
"I had some stilted conversations," says Bauerschmidt. "She'd be on the other end of the phone when I talked to my dad. I'd have to say, 'Mom, are you there? Are you on the line?' [She would say] 'Oh yeah, I'm here.' "