Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Very Different Christmas



Merry Christmas to you! I hope that this season finds you and yours in good health, good cheer, and good company.

We’re enjoying a very different Christmas. For the first time in 27 years, we don't have our son with us. His wife’s father passed away this week, so they are staying close to home and her family. We support this decision wholeheartedly, and in fact, encouraged it. But we sure miss them! It doesn’t feel quite like Christmas.

We took the opportunity of the empty house to bring Mom over for the holidays. Our house is too small to host all of them together, so she hasn’t been here in many years. We surprised her with the trip as her Christmas gift. To my surprise, she didn’t even argue. She does love to “go someplace” and I guess our house is “someplace.” It’s been interesting having a 90 year old here. I tend to move in double time most of the time. Fortunately I was much further ahead this year – presents bought and wrapped, menus planned, shopping lists made — but there are still many things I could only do this week. Or that I didn’t get to last week. We’ve found a nice balance. I get a lot done while she’s napping, a bit more while she’s reading, and she can help with some things. The weather has been lovely (cold, but clear) so we’ve walked every day. And we’ve planned one excursion a day. I do believe she’s having a good time and I'm cherishing the time with her.

It’s a year of transitions. I know there will be Christmases without Son. This, the first, seems the hardest. And I know the time will come, probably soon, when there will be no more Christmases with Mom. And I know that each year it gets harder for hubby and I to do all we’ve loved to do – the entertaining, the decorating, the treks to the City. So today, this week, I'll cherish what we have, who we’re with, and what we can do. I hope you can do the same. Live in the present, enjoy what you have, and decide to have the best Christmas ever. Merry Christmas! And God bless us, every one.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Beware of Visitors (Part 2)


So Mom felt better after my brother called her back and told her that the police would be patrolling her house. About a half hour later, there was a knock on the door. Mom asked who it was. She didn't hear an answer, but assumed it was the police. So she opened the door, just a crack.

Me: "You did what?"
Mom: "Just a little. And I had my foot against the door so I could slam it if I needed to."

She had thought of everything... My mom is 5'4" and just over 100 pounds. She also has peripheral neuropathy and is unstable on her feet. I reminded her of the size and strength of her delinquent great nephew, whom she fears.

Me: "Do you really think you could keep him out with your little foot? He could push that door open with one hand and knock you over! What were you thinking?
Mom: "I know... I know..."

But does she know? How do get her to think more clearly? To think in terms of safety?

Maybe I don't.

Obviously I don't.

Maybe it's time to consider moving her to assisted living. She's right at that in between stage--too active for assisted living, but not quite safe on her own. The wrong decision could be devastating.

What would you do?



 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Beware of Visitors (Part 1)



My mom lives alone.
She has a hearing aid and doesn't hear well on the phone.
She is nice person.
She is 90 and naive.

So when she received the following call, guess what happened... (Identifying info changed for obvious reasons).

Caller: "Hi, how a you?"
Mom: "Fine..."
Caller: "I haven't seen you in a while. How have you been?
Mom: “Fine…”
Caller: “Want some company?"
Mom: "Umm, I guess so."
Caller: "It's been awhile. Remind me where you live."
Mom: "XYZ Mobile Home Park, over on Grove Street."
Caller: "Right. I remember now. And what number?"
Mom: "Space 34."
Caller: "That's right. Well, I'll head over in a few minutes."
Mom: "OK."

Seriously! After all the times I've warned her about phone scams, her pride and naive niceness took over once again. She later said she felt she should have recognized the voice and didn’t want to embarrass herself by letting on that she didn’t.

Fortunately, my brother called right after she hung up and realized what she had done. After chastising her, he called the local police and explained the situation. They promised to send an office by and keep an eye on her place that night.

People, please remind your elderly loved ones to make sure they know who is on the phone before giving out ANY information.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this story...