We talked about it after mom got up. We both thought the senior home would be the last resort. Moving in with me would be the best way to go. I will go back and get things in order. I may have to sell my house and get a ground level unit to accommodate her mobility issues. I’ll have to think about the financial part of it. I felt a little better.
I made mom practice the buttons on the new radio we bought yesterday. She got frustrated by the buttons last night that she lost temper and wanted to return it. I assured her new gadgets nowadays were all alike--they are getting more and more complicated. Besides, this is the only model they have that plays cassettes. The only thing to do is to be patient (a real challenge for mom) and practice.
I encouraged her to do the exercise recommended by the therapist. She said she’d been exercising for forty years and look at her now. She’d rather die, she said. She does the bicycle pedaling everyday for forty-five minutes, but sits in front of the TV for the rest of the day. The stomach exercise is the most important one--it helps her stand steadily and upright, thus reduces her risk of falling. I’ll have to call her twice a day: once in the morning to remind her about the stomach exercise, over which she will no doubt have a fit, and once before bedtime to check on her.
I counted the capsules and tablets she takes everyday. There are fourteen bottles and about forty pills a day. Only one of them was prescribed by her doctor. All the others are either vitamins or supplements with magical powers. I worried about her vitamin A intake, which exceeded daily allowance by about one thousand eight hundred MCG. She told me she’d been taking it for years, and my worries were complete nonsense. I read all the effects of vitamin A overdose to her. She finally agreed to reduce the dosage by half. Maybe the one about hair loss got her attention.
Mom asked me if there were doctors in my area. I said why no, we use voodoo rituals to cure diseases. Surprisingly, she didn’t get mad. I felt bad for being a smart aleck.
The lawyer turned out to be a disappointment. She neglected to tell us a couple of things, and the fee subsequently increased to over one thousand dollars. Mom said forget it unhappily, then she got up and left. We forgot to ask if we owe the lawyer any fees for the tiny amount of work she had done so far. Mom didn’t think we owe her anything.
I’m still torn by the question of where she should live. The best choice for her is to stay here, but that means I have to somehow find work in her area so I will be readily available to her. I hate making decisions.
* * *
The taxi was a little late. Several times mom wanted to go back and call the company. I didn’t remind her with the fact that she didn’t speak a word of English. I stopped her each time and told her I had hours to kill at the airport, so five minutes was nothing.
She stayed at the building entrance as I ran out in the rain to the taxi. We waved briefly and the taxi pulled her out of my sight. I talked to the driver nonstop so I wouldn’t start crying again. I found out his original country, his educational and work background, and his near future plans.
There are choices to be made and none of them is easy. The best one seems to be for mom to stay in her house and for me to go there. That means I have to give up my life as I knew. Am I ready for it? I lost count of the times I cried during this visit. I will likely lose count of the times we fight over little things if we live together.
The minute houses laid out in neat square patches below the clouds. I looked at the picturesque land below and wondered how much sorrow filled how many houses down there. I used to think the view from the airplane windows were magnificently beautiful. I know now there are untold stories, some gut wrenchingly sad, are being played out as I write.