Conversations with Dead People
My mother had a nice phone conversation with her sister and brother-in-law on Sunday night. She talked about the meetings she’d had, with 15 or so people during the day. They talked about the weather. Mom said she’d be looking forward to seeing them for dinner tomorrow.
“Mom, we’ll be there next week.”
“Ok, okay.” Later in the conversation: “It will be so nice to see you for dinner tomorrow. It’s okay to dress casual.”
My aunt died in 2007. My uncle has severe dementia.
So does my mom. She retired many years ago. She doesn’t have meetings.
My dad, who lives with my mom in the townhouse in Illinois they moved into a decade ago (with plans then to move to a retirement facility “when the time is right”), thinks if he can just get a little help, everything will be okay. So does my sister, who lives in California. (My wife and I live in Pennsylvania.) My sister arranged for someone to stop in three days a week to help out. My mother (who had agreed to the help) got very upset when a stranger showed up and started “doing things” in the household. So my dad fired her at the end of the first day.
Mom says Dad promised her that it would only ever be them living together, in that townhouse, forever. No one else remembers this promise, but my dad is keeping it.
My sister thinks maybe if someone comes in and agrees to just listen, Mom will be agreeable to a stranger visiting. Then gradually things can work up to actually helping with chores.
So Sunday we’ll visit my parents in Illinois for a few days. It will be interesting to see who we are when we get there.