My mother is mad at me – although she would never characterize it that way. No, she would say she was cross or irritated or use some kind of euphemism that would somehow soften her blow, while getting her point across that I had crossed the line.
And how did I do that? By saying I worry about her. A caring, daughterly thing to say, I thought. But in her mind that phase is synonymous with plotting to move her out of her house and into one of “those places.”
True, she would be safer and my sisters and I would rest easier if she was in some kind of assisted living or care facility, but I intentionally didn’t broach that subject, lest she think I had an ulterior motive for expressing my concern.
But the fact is that she hadn’t eaten – again. She either had no appetite or didn’t have time between sleeping late, taking a nap and visiting my dad in a memory care unit. Or, as I found out tonight, because she couldn’t open a can of soup, couldn’t read the buttons on the microwave and didn’t want to open the refrigerator because it was too bright inside.
Just because she doesn’t have total mobility after a broken hip and is losing the sight in both of her eyes due to macular degeneration, that’s no cause for alarm, really. Why should I needlessly worry that she will fall again, forget to take her medications or invite the paper delivery guy to fix her thermostat because, as she told him, she lives alone and can’t see.
After all, North Korea has nuclear weapons, bullying is on the rise and the Dow is down again. Now those are real worries and I have about as much control over those things as I do my mother’s safety.
So when the day comes that something bad – the inevitable – happens, because I didn’t do anything to prevent it, I will be cross with me, too. In fact, I will be absolutely, categorically and unrelentingly mad. That’s just how it is and I’m not afraid to say it.