Happy Mother’s Day

Mom called from the cabin this morning. I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying, as the cell service that far out is pretty spotty. Eventually it disconnected, which was not entirely a bad thing, IMHO. I tried calling her back, but it always went straight to voicemail. I called and left a message on the machine at her house, which she is almost obsessive about checking – nothing significant, just Happy mothers day, and I had the kids say happy mothers day too. When I checked my voicemail on my cell phone, there was a message that Mom left yesterday in which she complained about spending mother’s day alone (SHE was the one that left town) and that if I had gotten her a card that I could ‘stuff it down my throat’.

Later, after my wife & kids had gone to her mothers for a cookout, I drove over to Mom’s and dropped off the mothers day present from me & the kids. The place was in the middle of one of her ‘cleanings’, where lots of stuff gets pulled out, and scattered over any available horizontal surface, and eventually sorted and put back. I did notice that she had left a note on the counter in case Dad returned – the inch high ‘QUITTER’ was followed by how she guessed he had gotten out of going on the trip with her now. All in all, a VERY mild and brief note – especially for Mom.

I heard from Mom early this evening. She’s back (you capture more of the feeling if you say it in that Jack Nicholson, Shining way). She was ‘thrilled’ with her gift, and thought that the card was cute. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t take her advice on what to do with the card after all. The conversation was normal, and she is still planning on going to my cousin’s graduation. Except for the part where she just doesn’t understand why Dad has such problems that he leaves, and that it would have been better had he been killed in Vietnam or died of cancer so that she wouldn’t have to deal with it. I’m sure that not many people would consider that normal.

I called Dad to let her know that Mom had gotten home. I did ask him if he thought that she would be OK to fly, since I hadn’t canceled his reservations yet. He said that she would, and that she was still controlled around other people unless the did something to set her off – such as smoking or wearing too much perfume or other olfactory offenses. While they were out of town last week, Mom was ‘fine’ (which isn’t normal by other people’s definition) when they were around other people, but when they got back to their room it all started all over.

A while after that, Mom called me again. It was not quite as pleasant this time. She wanted to know where Dad was, and why he left when all she wanted to do was talk to him about some things. For the most part, I just listened and wondered just how much I was going to hear again. Mom also is confused about the meds. She had been prescribed something to help her with the Sjogren’s, but she was having a lot of side effects from it. My guess is that the effect is normal if someone who DOESN’T have Sjogren’s takes the stuff, but it could be that she red the package insert and gave them to herself. After the reactions, her Dr told her to stop taking it. She stopped taking her mental meds at the same time – because she doesn’t think that she is bipolar, and doesn’t need them.

I canceled Dad’s reservation, but left Mom’s. The airline industry uses terms very differently than the rest of the world. I didn’t cancel Dad’s ticket, just his itinerrary. The ticket is good for a year. So apparently a ‘ticket’ is like a voucher, and an ‘itinerrary’ is the specific flight reservation. Anyway, I joked with the agent about their non-standard terms a bit, but got the job done.

Mom called back a few minutes after I hung up with the airline, and I made sure that she still wanted to go. She mentioned that whe’d have to figure out where the parking was, etc. I told her that I would drop her off & pick her up so that she wouldn’t have to worry about the car at the airport. Then she had some questions about the baggage, and got upset about not being able to figure out what size bag she would be allowed to take, and what stuff was allowed in the carry-on. (see, I keep telling you that Mom is going to get upset, and WHAT really doesn’t make any difference) I’m going over tomorrow to select what luggage she will be using for her trip. For anyone else, the problem would be solved, but not Mom. Ten minutes of that, and she finally changes gears and tells me about the cabin, and how she cut the grass after having a hard time getting the mower started, etc. Normal (for Mom, anyway), just like the previous ten minutes didn’t even happen. I wonder if she actually remembers it, or if there is some kind of memory block thing that goes on when she gets like that.

I called Dad afterward, to let him know that Mom was planning on making the trip, and that I would take her to the airport. He was pleased with that, and I asked again just to make sure that he REALLY thought Mom would be capable of making the trip without getting kicked off the plane, because I REALLY don’t want to have to fly out again just to drive Mom home. He thinks that she won’t have a problem with it – but I guess we’ll see. He also asked me to check on mail while Mom is gone, because he is expecting some county bills as well as the regular utility bills and stuff. While Mom’s away it won’t be a problem, but he’s trying to figure out what to do with them after she gets back. HELLO???? I’m not playing this ‘monkey in the middle’ game forever. If they are going to live for any length of time in separate houses they’re going to have to work out something better than using me to forward mail.

As Drudge says, Developing…..

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~ by namegoeshere on May 14, 2007.

5 Responses to “Happy Mother’s Day”

  1. Interesting day you’ve had.

    As for the bills, I think you are right on about not wanting to be “monkey in the middle” They have got to work this out somehow. He, your dad, could go paperless and do all bill over the internet, that way he could pay them from any where.

  2. welcome to my world, it is very hard to know what is going to flip that switch and how to attempt to avoid it. which after a while you learn the impossibility of that. Good luck you will need it. I would go paperless if I was him. or have the bills sent to your house and you then forward them, or he can set up an account that you have access to to pay his bills for him online. There are lots of ways to do this.

  3. Uhhh……..Why is your dad having you do all the things that HE should be doing? What if your mom was kicked off the flight? Why would YOU have to go get her instead of her HUSBAND that should be? Why does he keep taking off and making you take care of her? Does anyone else see this???

  4. Chocolatechic raises a good point.

  5. As to paying everything online – They do not have, and never have had, a computer. Since I would be their tech support, I haven’t pushed for them to get a computer – I just don’t have the time it would require, and knowing Mom, it would require a LOT of time.
    Dad has me as a go-between for now because Mom will ‘ocassionally’ listen to me. She will not ever listen to him. Not like he ever has the opportunity to say anything, as she can talk NONSTOP for hours and hours and hours.
    If she gets kicked off the flight, I’m not going to go get her. Period. She can try another airline, or renting a car, or Greyhound, or walk, or hitchhike as far as I’m concerned.
    Nobody ‘takes care’ of Mom. That implies a level of control that nobody has. Dad leaves because they’ve been married almost 50 years, and Mom ‘airs her grievances’ repetitively, over and over, ad nauseum – starting with the money that she gave him after they were married to pay for part of his uniforms, and continuing on through EVERY SINGLE negative thing that she ever remembers. And she remembers EVERYTHING. Leaving is a better choice than eating her liver with fava beans and a nice chianti. Or stressing out and dying of a heart attack like my grandfather.

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