Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I am going to visit my mom this weekend and I do so with some trepidation.

Let me start at the beginning. My mom holds the power of attorney for my grandmother who is in assisted living in Louisiana. My mom does all of my grandmother's finances, works with her attorney, checks her meds, talks with the doctors, and much, much more. She has been doing this the past two years.

My grandmother was one of the few women to enroll in med school when she was young (late 1930's). She met and fell in love with my grandfather, who passed six years ago, and gave up a career to become a wife and mother. A strong lady.

Recently, my grandmother fell and broke her pelvis. Since then my grandmother has given up control and has relied heavily on my mom. This has been a hard transition for all of us, but especially hard on my mom.

My mom visits my grandmother four to six times a year. (My mom retired to Maine.) Every time she visits, my mom spends nights pouring over paperwork and days doing errands for my grandmother. My mom has had a lot on her mind to say the least.

The stress that my mom is under was never so evident than at Christmas. My mom and I flew to Atlanta to spend the holiday with friends. We flew separately because of my work obligations. My mom flew out two days before me and I was to meet her at the hotel she was staying in.

When I arrived in Atlanta at ten p.m., I drove to the hotel. My mom was not checked in and no word was left as to where she was. I drove to my friend Maria's house knocking on the door as to not wake up the kids. She let me in with a confused look on her face.

M: Didn't your mom meet you at the hotel?

Me: No. No one was there. Why have you talked to her?

M: Yes. She said that she was going to meet you at the front of the hotel. She changed her mind and is staying at her friend's house. I have the number.

Me: She wasn't at the hotel. Nice of her to keep me informed. (I am normally sarcastic. More so after getting off a plane.)

M: Your mom said she was going to have the airline page you during your layover in Chicago.

Me: That's nice especially since I stopped off at La Guardia.

M: Eye roll. Call your mom.

There's more.

I had decided to drop off my rental early because for the rest of the holiday celebrations I would be with mom and she had her own rental.

Mom was to follow me to the airport to drop off the car.

She followed behind me the whole way.

Until....I turned into the rental place.

I stepped out of the car, got my receipt, and turned around.

No mom.

I waited and I waited.

And waited.

Then I called Aileen. She and Danny picked me up from the transit station. I left word for my mom at the house where we were staying and with Maria and with Maria's mom.

Two hours later my mom calls. She missed the turn off and couldn't call because her cell was dead. My mom figured that I would keep the car and no big deal.


I am grateful for my mom's faith in me and my ability to take care of myself, but...

You see the but there?

I love my mom. I know she's under tremendous stress and is in NO way normally like this. But...

Am I a bad daughter to have mixed emotions about going to visit her?


Neil said...

It sounds like you're having the most normal reaction you could have. I'm sure you're a great daughter.

my0p said...

I fully understand this situation as I have been through similar situations. Stressful situations definitely affect peoples' actions while under duress.
May God bless you all.

Erica said...

Not a bad daughter at all. And neither is she, coping with all that she is. This is not ME giving you crap about it! But as much as her mom is now relying on her, she's obviously turning it on you - expecting your psychic abilities to manifest any minute now...

And this is parallel to my life. My mom is now taking care of her parents' finances/decisions (they are perfectly healthy and fine but have moved to an independent living place), and has TONS on her mind. And never calls, but sometimes emails. And when we visit, we clash worse than we ever did when we lived together - except it's all under the surface now because I'm grown up and can't snipe at her like I used to. I have to BE grown-up and quietly suffer her overbearing ways with my children, which I always interpret as she thinks I'm not strict enough with them, etc. So if I don't yank them into line, she oversteps whatever I said with something harsher. What the HELL is up with Grandma? I can see that in Sean's eyes quite a lot.

But your post has reminded me that she's going through a lot.

But DAY-UM. I'm with you! Cut us a LITTLE break! :-) And best of luck with your visit. Just try to keep it all in perspective.

Anonymous said...

Cass and I would be glad to accompany you :-) You know, to break the ice and all ~ we're great buffers!

Chelle said...

Thanks Neil, Erica, My0p, and anonymous. That helps.

I will take anyone who wants to go the pretty but cold Maine.