Chat @ Care-giving: Two Days in Traffic

Having finally wrangled cooperation out of Mom, it was time to actually drive by the retirement centers which made my list of potential properties. There were almost forty and I had them divided into roughly three groups of geographically-centered lists.  According to Mapquest, each list was going to take about an hour, but that wouldn’t include all the driving through parking lots and making the block to see something one more time.  Day One we planned to take in the properties closest to her house.  With any luck we’d get the other two lists crammed into Thursday, but if we didn’t, I planned to get it done on Friday after her hair appointment.

Day One was easy.  I put her in the car, gave her a list of the properties we would see and asked her to make any notes she wanted to on the list.  I’m glad I wasn’t trying to sell her a house.  If my real estate clients had been as stingy with their comments as my Mom was with hers, I would have never sold a single home.  People communicate differently.  Some would chat my ear off, while others made copious notes.  Mom had nothing to say and her notes related to geographical location, which I already knew, since I was the one driving.

As promised, we were done long before it was time for Dad to go to his doctor’s appointment.  I took them to one of Dad’s favorites for lunch and delivered them to the doctor right on time.  I’d successfully cleared my first hurdle.

Day Two was more difficult.  I showed up for our weekly day together,changed the sheets and headed out to take care of our usual set of errands.  On the way back to her house, I picked up some of their favorite sandwiches for lunch, to put everyone in a good mood.  Lunch eaten, groceries put away and dishes washed, I put Mom in the car for round two.  We quickly knocked out the second list of properties and I held out a carrot for tackling the final one.  One of her favorite stores was right next to one of the properties and I promised to visit the store if we tackled the list.

I also had a secondary agenda.  I’d really enjoyed a video on one of the property’s websites.  I thought Mom would find it encouraging.  Since the properties on this final list were in my neighborhood, I hoped to drop by the house and show her the video.  One thing I’d already noted however, the further we got away from her neighborhood, the more objections she had to the properties.  At least she was talking now.

My plan worked like a charm.  By the time we reached my house, she was ready for ice cream, which I just happened to have in the freezer.  My husband came down from his office right on cue and asked me if I’d told her about that great video on the computer.  Back in the car we drove by one more property and then took her for a shopping break.  Unfortunately, there’s only so many hours in the day.  Mom was getting tired and the traffic started getting bad.  Before we’d made it all the way through the list, Mom let me know, she wasn’t going to move to my side of town.  Well, you can’t win ’em all!

I took her home and then had to drive all the way back to mine.  Returning home, spilled out like a broken milk bottle, I set down at my desk and played mindless computer games until I’d released enough stress to speak politely to my husband.  I’m going to have to do something nice for that guy when I get through with this project.  Any ideas?

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