Mom is 79 and still lives alone, although my 35 year old niece, DQ – the true Queen of the Park – lives next door. For Christmas this year, rather than buy Mom more clutter for her house, i bought her a Life Alert system.
I arranged for installation Tuesday, and made sure that the installation was coordinated with DQ. Although she’s sometimes a human disaster area, she can be very functional – especially when her future inheritance may be at stake.
After a long and painful day at work, i called Mom to see how things went. She barked at me for 20 minutes…
“Well, they didn’t show up on time…”, and “the paperwork was all messed up…” and “it had to be put 4′ away from the phone…”.
You get the idea.
I’d been up since 4am, was emotionally exhausted from work, and was driving home in heavy traffic during a rainstorm (yes, i know i shouldn’t use the cell phone when driving…). I didn’t know what to say, other than “Mom, i’m really sorry i got this for you. I can come down tomorrow and take it out…”
She went on for another 10 minutes about what pain i’d caused her…
I explained “you made it clear to us that you want to stay at home, rather than go into assisted living. we need to provide a strong safety net for you. this may not be the right solution, so we can keep looking at other options”.
I gave up. “Mom, I’m really sorry i got this for you for Christmas.”
And then the icing on the cake from her…
“You make me sound so ungrateful”.
oh. i’m sorry. what an awful person i am for implying that a half-hour bitchfest without a ‘thank you’ regarding a gift that is intended to keep you safe is an ungrateful response.
no. i didn’t say that. asked her to sleep on it and checked back with her on Wednesday and she’d adjusted to the idea. i know that it’s the loss of her independence she is mourning, and i need to be very patient. or very medicated…