Chat @ Care-giving: Finally, My Just Desserts

So boys and girls, during our last episode, our hero and heroine were at a crossroads.  Would Jane demand the execution of her own plans or could Bill’s  priorities be considered?

Actually, the die had been cast on the previous day.  Remember how I’d insisted on calling my Mom, in spite of Bill insisting it was unnecessary?  Bill calls me stubbornly righteous, because once I decide something is the right thing to do, there’s no stopping me.  I made that call to Mom and braved Bill’s fury.  However, I also know when I’ve reached the edge of the cliff.  Now, it was Bill’s turn to get his way.  Besides, I had a contingency plan if Mom and Dad couldn’t sleep in their own apartment on moving day.  I might be stubbornly righteous, but I also believe in Plan B.

So we ate our lunch and then made like Dear Genevieve.  While Bill and I chose pictures for the wall, Larry and Susan shopped for a phone cord.  At least someone had my priorities at the forefront.

Having let Bill channel Candice Olsen, I dared to put my foot down.  The dining table, chairs and hutch had to be built and the TV and phone had to be working before a single picture could be hung.  Everyone set to work and miracles began to happen.

If you’re new to this blog, you couldn’t know Mom fought moving like a wildcat protecting her cubs.  She was particularly vocal about the apartment being too small.  She thought living at Whiterock Court would be like living in a crowded storage unit with meals.  What I didn’t know was that everybody else in the family thought she was right.

As we all worked frantically to set things to right, my little sister said, “Well, things look better than I thought they would.”  Her husband quietly agreed.  By this time, we were in the process of putting up the final touches.  There were still hidden boxes to unload, but what Mom had called a “chopped-up floor plan” looked a little like a Design Star reveal.

I’d been stubbornly righteous about my parents moving to a retirement center.  I knew it was the right thing to do, even if living there did feel like a crowded storage unit with meals.  But I’d also known the apartment would be darling once everything was in place.  I could see Aunt Edie’s Queen Anne curio cabinet in the entry hall, full of the treasures Mom had spent a life time collecting.  I could see the amoire in the corner of her bedroom with all the silver framed photos on top.  I knew their desk was going to fit right there in front of the window in Dad’s bedroom.

Because I could see these things, I thought everyone else could, too.  I assumed the reason they’d supported me was because they knew, as I did, that things weren’t going to be as awful as Mom predicted.  But, in truth, because they understood my parents’ need for some assistance in living, they’d blindly supported my other choices.

I recalled a conversation from earlier in the day.   The movers informed me it wasn’t necessary to wrap the furniture in pads, because of the short distance of the move.  My answer was, “Did you see that little lady hobbling out of here with the cane.  That’s The Wrath of God on Legs.  You see that piece of furniture right there?  She just inherited it from her 91-year-old sister.  If you get one scratch on that cabinet, The Wrath of God on Legs is going to come after you and I’m not going to stand in her way.”  The movers used the pads.

But my family had faced down The Wrath of God on Legs, because they’d understood my righteous stubbornness and because they agreed with me about what my parents needed.  Even if The Wrath of God on Legs was going to give us a hard time for the foreseeable future, we all had to do the right thing together. However, they were relieved living at Whiterock Court wouldn’t resemble life in a crowded storage unit after all.

To say we were giddy as we strolled down the hall to get my parents would be an understatement.  Our excitement was infectious and Mom sensed things were not going to be as awful as she’d anticipated.  The family paraded back to the apartment and I threw open the door.

Mom’s eyes lighted up as she saw the curio cabinet.  It easily fit into the entry hall with room to spare.  Dad would not be banging up against it each time he headed out of the door with his walker.  Then she stood in front of the cabinet and realized all of her treasures were already on the shelves and not a single one had been damaged in the move.  She was overwhelmed.

Then she walked into her room.  Not only had every piece of Aunt Edie’s bedroom set fit in there, but there was plenty of room for a dressing table, just like I told her there would be.  Then she turned to see the portraits of Susan and me above her bed.  It was a good thing I was standing right beside her.  Her legs actually gave way and I had to hold her up.  It was a joy to do so.  I could tell she was pleased.

For the next thirty minutes I was a hero.  I had to share the limelight with the other kids, but I knew that even though I’d had some help, this was my victory.  I guess I’ll just have to admit it.  My mom’s not the only legs The Wrath of God walks around on.

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