General Etiquette > Family and Children

We're in the Doghouse with Mom...

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Thipu1:
...because we weren't there for Thanksgiving.  We will bite the bullet and visit in a few weeks but Thanksgiving was impossible.

Late Saturday, we returned home from three weeks abroad.  Sunday morning, we received the 'summons' for the holiday.  We were to take the bus (a five and a half hour ride) on Monday and stay the week at her apartment.  When we got the message, we hadn't even started unpacking and explained the situation in a phone call.  Mom was a bit disappointed but seemed all right.

Thursday, we made our Thanksgiving phone call and the situation was a bit different.  After the opening greetings, Mom handed our call off to 'Eric'. 

Eric was someone we had never heard of before, but Mom had her reasons.  Eric's parents live in the same facility as Mom and he was to be the model of the 'good son' who visited his parents on Thanksgiving.  It made no difference that Eric lived a half hour away and could drive.  We were to feel very ashamed that we didn't do what he did. 

Eric seemed as confused at talking to us as we were talking to him.  Mom was given back the phone.

She asked Mr. Thipu about our trip and he started to give her the run-down.  He soon got cut off. 

'I don't want to hear the details.  I just want to hear about all the BEAUTIFUL islands you visited'.

'The islands we visited were the UK, the Azores and Bermuda.  Guess what Mom?  It rained in every one of them.  These things happen in November'.

 We didn't say that but we thought it.  The conversation was almost immediately ended.

The whole thing left us with an unpleasant feeling but it wasn't shame at not visiting Mom.  We will visit her in December but, what she wanted for Thanksgiving was just something we couldn't do. 

In the last year or so, Mom has been very off-putting to family members who do visit her.  It's getting to be a problem and we're afraid that she will be receiving fewer and fewer visitors. we don't want to see this happen but we shouldn't have to be the 'saving remnant' of the family, so to speak. 

Is there anything we can do? 





charlatan:
I don't know your mom's history so please pardon the question, but is she in a senior's facility or one for people with dementia or something like that?

I ask because personality changes are common with age-related mental deterioration. In that case there may not be anything you can do except make sure your mother knows when you will be there and not beat yourself up for those times when you cannot be there.

Thipu1:
No. Mom has her own apartment in an independent living community. He place is one that people in NYC would kill to have. 

  When the weather is good she plays nine holes of golf once a week with other ladies of her age.  When family members come to visit, she cooks for them.  She shows no signs of dementia but she was always a bit demanding and, since she entered her Nineties it's become more pronounced. 

Luci45:

--- Quote from: charlatan on November 24, 2012, 12:09:10 PM ---I don't know your mom's history so please pardon the question, but is she in a senior's facility or one for people with dementia or something like that?

I ask because personality changes are common with age-related mental deterioration. In that case there may not be anything you can do except make sure your mother knows when you will be there and not beat yourself up for those times when you cannot be there.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: Thipu1 on November 24, 2012, 12:28:15 PM ---No. Mom has her own apartment in an independent living community. He place is one that people in NYC would kill to have. 

  When the weather is good she plays nine holes of golf once a week with other ladies of her age.  When family members come to visit, she cooks for them.  She shows no signs of dementia but she was always a bit demanding and, since she entered her Nineties it's become more pronounced. 

--- End quote ---

Nicely put, Charlatan.

Thipu, just because Mom is on her own doesn't mean she is completely fine. She is able to handle her own affairs and life, but may be loosing some filters. I did see someone I loved kind of going that way. We finally just accepted her little abuses, shrugged, and went on. Honestly, your mom's activities (golf) are probably slowing down the inevitable as well as being a sign she is doing well so please be grateful for that. Probably no intervention is needed now; just understanding, a thicker skin, and tolerance. A way thicker skin, and a closed mouth.

I find myself being a lot more blunt about some things (eHellions may have noticed), and am getting pretty darn tired of backtracking and saying, "So sorry. Badly stated. What I meant was ................". I know soon I will be loosing that filter. Scary stuff.

By the way, I would love to hear bout your vacation. And I will forgive you for missing Thanksgiving with us. I know you were tired and that is a huge trip just for a dinner! The companionship we can make up soon!

Audrey Quest:
Wait a minute!  Your mom is in her 90s?
 
Cut her some slack and just be understanding.

Don't get defensive about her tactics--be bigger than that.  Express your disappointment that the situation has caused you to be apart and leave it at that.
 
The situation may get more difficult as time goes on.  It's just part of life.  It's a sad part of life, but it is what it is.

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