Mother to Son (sounds like a Queen thread, right?)

My mother talks to me almost every night. More specifically, I call her almost every night, and if she doesn’t answer and I don’t know about some social obligation, I drive over there to see if she’s gone dead in bed or some such.

It’s not like I have some great need to have a mommy-touch every night. ~Two years ago, I came home on the evening of my poker game to be greeted by the telephone message, “911 services have removed your mother to XXX Hospital today,”

So the Sibling Council has decided that I, being local, should be in charge of local events. As I was when my father died and when our step-mom died.

So now I call her every night. She’s 87 and I’m 49. And nothing’s changed. She still gets it all wrong. She feels some need to interpret and describe what I am doing.

And she just can’t get it right, And that’s the way it will always be.

I feel for ye, fellow-me-lad. But it could be worse.

My mother died several years ago. After she was gone, it was soon obvious that Dad wasn’t taking care of the business of day-to-day living without supervision. The Siblings decided that I (local, unmarried, childless, and not a homeowner) should be the one to make sure that he was eating, going to the doctor, etc. In the olden days, this would have been the lot of the maiden aunts, but things have changed. Nowadays it seems to be the job of the Good Gay Sons.

So at the tender age of forty-six, I found myself MOVING BACK HOME. That is actually what I did.

I’ve been here two years now, and every morning I am surprised to wake up in the bedroom that I had when I was five. Sometimes I think I should put the Jack-and-Jill wallpaper back up and make it complete. I live with my father and a dog. But it’s not too bad. In fact, it is very much like FRASIER. And Dad, now pushing eighty, is in better health and in good spirits, so I guess it’s a good thing.

Still, I look at my friends who have lives of their own and sigh.

Sounds to me like you are getting it right, though.

Not easy to be the one nominated, but I think you deserve credit for being willing to do it. And with what seems to be a certain amount of patience. And grace. :slight_smile:

We’re going through the beginnings of this with my in-laws. They are 80 and rather feeble, with a bad hip, constant dizziness, and the after-effects of a stroke. They really can’t take care of themselves as well as they should, but are very stubborn and refuse to do anything that will promote safety or good heath. My husband wanted them to move their bed downstairs because Dad keeps falling down and we don’t want him navigating the stairs. But Noooooooooooo…it’ll make the house look messy. It is very frustrating right now, and I’d really like to bang their heads together (gently). I feel like something really horrible is going to happen before Mom realizes that she needs full time help, or a one-story house, or a visting nurse or SOMETHING.

Right there with you, Kalhoun. MIL has dizzy spells and literally crawls up the stairs. FIL has numerous medical problems, requiring regular trips to Chicago for tests and teatments. Both insist that they can still drive, but having watched my MIL back out of a parking space for 12 minutes, I have my doubts. We did talk them into getting one of those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” thingies, but somehow they never remember to wear the darn things.

My husband and I, and his brother and sister-in-law, all live about the same distance away from them. But all but me are out-of-the-home workers. I am home, and available, so I have become defacto caretaker.

I do not mind at all helping to take care of things for them. They’re very nice people, and I am, after all, available to do so. Their pride is starting to take a toll on them and me, though. When my FIL fell out of bed, he and MIL spent 25 minutes trying to get him back in, because they didn’t want to “bother” me.
I’d have them move in here in a New York minute - it wouldn’t be easy, but we’d manage - but they insist on keeping their independence and they “wouldn’t want to put you out, dear.”


My mother and I talk every night, too. She’s 81 and says, “if I keel over dead, no one will know it till the cats have eaten me.” Same with me—they’d just assume at work I was out sick.

So we have a nice chat every night about what we’ve done that day, awful news in the paper, what was on The Daily Show . . . Of course, if she’s in the bathroom or out visiting a neighbor and doesn’t pick up right away, I panic.

I’d love to move back to Phila. and into her apt. complex (though not into her apt.!) to look after her—but there’s the little matter of earning a living . . .

My mom is doing quite well, and tho she has health problems, she’s much more meticulous about caring for herself than Dad was. Still, she lives in a big house with her mentally disabled sister, and I don’t know what would happen if she fell or got really sick. One of my sisters lives nearby - I don’t know how often she calls or visits Mom. I should probably talk to her about that. I do exchange e-mails with her, but sometimes she’ll go a day or two without checking, so I’d have no indication of trouble. Plus her house is out in the country and you really can’t see any of the neighboring houses because of the trees. She has no intention of leaving as long as she can take care of the place - I’m glad she hasn’t become a sad, weepy widow, but I still worry.

LifeOnWry, my mother-in-law tried to pick dad up off the floor a couple weeks ago and HER UTERUS FELL OUT! I’m still not quite over that. She’s about 4’9", and it amazes me that she didn’t call someone and ask for help. I get very nervous just thinking about these two in the coming years. And they are wonderful people. Just hell-bent on their independence, I guess. We’re trying to get my SIL’s widower to move in with them. He’s not ready to leave the marital home yet, but hopefully he will be soon.

Oy. I should direct my mom to this thread - she’d relate…

She’s 56, my nana’s 85 & has been driving Momout of her gourd. My grandfather had senile dementia & should have been in a nursing home by the summer of 2001, but Nana wouldn’t hear of it. She pulled a passive-resistance routine: My parents would gently bringing up the “If we have to go that route, what about the money/the medical issues/etc?”, but Nana refused to discuss it. They barely convinced her to get an aide for 8 hours a day.

Meanwhile, my mother traveled to their home (1 hour east of here) every Saturday to help Nana clean, which she couldn’t do as well as she needed to. My mom only being around for one full day a week caused a lot of stress in my family.

Finally, things reached the inevitable crisis point: Nana fell - she broke her hips & needed surgery & rehab. We couldn’t care for Grandpop - he needed round-the-clock care. We managed, after a fair bit of panicking, to get him an emergency placement in the local hospital, then got him into a nursing home. He was in bad shape by that time & died a month & a half later.

Nana’s now out of rehab & living back home, but she’s had this problem with edema. I swear, it was like pulling teeth to get her to do anything about it - even now, she’s passive-aggressive about her treatment. When my mother asks about a doctor visit, or where she put a bill or note, she’s very vague or says she can’t recall.

She won’t carry the cordless phone my mother got for her. Y’all know how panic-inducing it can be when your elderly parent doesn’t answer the phone.

Argh. The beauty part is, my mom has no siblings - she’s it. Man, I hope I’m healthy when I’m elderly. Thanks for letting me vent, folks. :wink:

Just today, actually less than an hour after I posted above, my MIL called here. She doesn’t want me to worry, nothing’s broken. Except her little toe is a little swollen, but she’s been (and I quote) “speaking to it sternly, so I think it’s getting the message.” It seems she lost her balance last night, and fell (“just on my bottom, and this is a good heavy rug. Good heavy bottom, too. I bounced.”) After ascertaining that she was, indeed, not injured, I casually brought up the idea of moving to a one-story house again. She says that’s just silly. She wasn’t anywhere near the stairs when she fell.

It’s hard to be angry with her, because for one thing she’s so darned funny. But there are days I just want to lock her in a room for her own good.

Oof, I hear ya. Only in my case I moved back in with grampa.

Which is ok - we really do enjoy each other’s company and get along really well. Only…Well, I’m the one “responsible” for him. And grampa don’t listen to NO one. Not even his kids - the ones who get on my case if something happens.

I’m learning to shrug off a lot of the BS, but the constant rock/hard place position I’m in is…wearing.

Ain’t that the truth, as Potter recently discovered. I love how we can be family-destroying perverts one minute, and the next we’re changing bedpans for our flesh and blood who threw us out of our houses.