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Thinking about my mom

Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 in Mom

It’s inauguration day and the world’s attention is focused on DC, but mostly I’m thinking about my mom. I took her to the doctor today to have blood drawn. I’m not sure if she needed it. She thought she was supposed to make an appointment back in November and never did. So I scheduled this lab visit for her. The nurses weren’t sure why she was in the office. There weren’t any doctor orders for lab work. But they were kind and drew blood. So we’ll get her cholesterol numbers updated whether it was necessary or not.

I also took her to the pharmacy. She’s sure that she picked up a prescription last week or so and then lost it before she got home. The pharmacist had no records of filling a prescription lately. So we got it filled (for the first or second time this month) and I know she made it to her front door with it. Who knows what will happen to it from there. The may be a second Bermuda Triangle — a Bullwinkle Trapezoid, perhaps — in her apartment. Many things are lost and some reappear in odd locations. (But that’s always been true. Dad once woke up to the automatic coffee pot spewing coffee across the counter and into the drawers. Mom had put the coffee pot in the oven. The Trapezoid may just be following her around.)

It’s hard to know how involved to get. For example, she doesn’t seem to like me going through her mail and papers. She always valued privacy. For example, she always insisted that a half closed door should always be knocked on. (Although we always just walked into the houses of family and friends. I guess we did yell a “Yoohoo” on the way in to announce ourselves. And most people had dogs so the appearance of guests wasn’t really a surprise.) I never even opened my mother’s purse until just a couple of years ago. And I’d still never do it without her permission. But today I went through stacks of mail and scraps of paper looking for her missing phone card. I found phone numbers for friends and family no longer living, but no phone card. (She’s of an age where a seance might be a better choice than the phone anyway.) I felt nosy and invasive.

Is it time to take over buying and picking up her prescriptions? I already pay most of her bills. She still takes care of sending out the five, eight, or sometimes ten dollar checks to all her charities. I don’t want to take away any of her sense of being able to care for herself. But I also don’t want her worrying, confused, or not taking her medications.

I really enjoy my mother even as she’s aging and requiring more care. She’s got a great sense of humor. For example, when we stopped in to pick her up at Xmas and get her presents and overnight bag, she turned to my young husband and commanded, “Boy, go bring the car around.” It could be that she just forgot his name and was trying to find a way to cover her embarrassment. But I found it funny.

She’s wonderfully superstitious at times. I’m wearing her mother’s opal today because Mom refused to wear it. Opals bring tears if they aren’t your birthstone, she believes. So far I’m not crying. But I have had dry eyes and thought it was worth a try.

She also refuses to begin any project on a Friday. If you start something on a Friday and don’t finish it, you never will. She never thought it was worth the chance. I agree. Best to put anything important off until Saturday. Or Monday. Or next month.

But putting off an evaluation of Mom’s memory can’t be put off. It’s scheduled for later this month.

  1. This is very tender, very full of love. You and your mom are very blessed to have one another. I will never be able to experience this reversal of roles–so painful yet filled with love, at least in your case. Beautifully written.

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