Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Visit - Part 4

The bather is coming today (Friday). Mom asked me to first cancel it, then to change the time yesterday. I asked for the phone number but she didn’t have it. The bather will call before coming over, which is of course too late to change anything. She couldn’t give me a reason why she wanted to change it though. She decided to bathe herself, so I helped.

We left for the Red Cross before the bather called. I hope she didn’t get worried and call mom’s emergency contact, whoever that may be.

Before we left, we decided to have an argument first. Her “nice temper” made a guest appearance.

“Where’s the 2008 tax return paper?” She asked.
“It’s on the coffee table.” I picked it up and handed her the envelop.
“It’s important paper. I need to give this to Michelle to do my tax this year.”
“Mom, it’s the 2008 tax. It’s already done.”
“How could it be done? I haven’t given her the paper yet.”
“You need to give her 2009 paper to do the tax, not 2008.”
“Nonsense! This is 2010. We do the tax for 2009, so we need the paper from 2008.”
“What? Nooo….” I was baffled by her logic. Did they change the tax rules when I wasn’t paying attention?
“What do you mean no? That’s how it’s done every year!” She was irritated. Her brows were arched high and her look said “you’re an idiot” to me.
“No, you get the 2009…”
“Don’t tell me no!” She refused to listen and raised her voice.
“Mom! This is 2010, you need the income statements from 2009 to do the tax.”

We went through this chronological intrigue several times. Each time she got angrier and louder. Finally she said, “But how can I do the tax? I don’t have the papers!” As if that was the point of our “discussion.”

“That’s why we went to the social services yesterday--to request the duplicates.” How could she not remember? We did this less than 24 hours ago.

She looked at me and, for a second, I thought she was going to argue again, but somehow she decided otherwise. I went inside to change. When I was walking away I heard her murmuring to herself “2009, 2008...?”

Red Cross told us we needed a doctor’s referral to rent a walker. Naturally we didn’t have it. I did get a list where we could purchase one and we decided to get one instead. We found the store and their walkers looked very nice--if “nice” is a proper word to describe walkers. She told the salesman it was too expensive and we left empty handed. I apologized to the salesman, but I couldn’t fault her for being price weary. Truth is, I’m the same way--I see it as a virtue. We went to a discount store and came home with a cheaper walker. I put it together and she tried it out in the house. She seemed happy with it, but it felt sturdy and that was most important.

We looked through her piles of pictures. To some I said yew! I don’t like that person. She lectured me on how we shouldn’t hate, because Christians aren’t supposed to hate. This came from a person who stopped talking to her own brother when he was alive, or to his family who are alive, or to her own two other kids?

Right now I’m tempted to get a job and move here so she doesn’t have to leave her house, or live among strangers. I also know this is the overwhelming emotion I’m experiencing. Getting along will be a challenge in the long run. I probably won’t be able to find work here for quite some time. And just like her, I like my town very much.

On the other hand, how many years does she have left? I may never have a second chance, and the thought of it brings on a feeling that begs for a new word for “awful.”

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1 comment:

  1. I understand this dilemma. When my father's memory and temper got worse with age, we looked at retirement homes for him. Ultimately, we ended up moving him into our home instead. It wasn't easy but I don't regret a minute of it.



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