I am sure Jahteh is taking an increasing delight in our Mother troubles.
It is slowly dawning on Mother that she may have to downsize. At this point she is thinking of a grannie flat in ABI Brother's backyard. We just sow seeds of thought and she lies awake at night worrying about her circumstances. Her house and furniture are deteriorating and she has no money for repairs.
Quite a few years ago a nearby pizza shop burnt down. The pizza man used to feed a couple of cats. Ohhhhh, poor cats, no one to feed them. So Step Father and Mother started to feed them. Cats did as cats do and the numbers increased. There has been one clean out at a neighbour's insistence via the council but a few could not be caught. The number is back up to fourteen. She knows they will have to go at some time. They are all quite wild. They get a mix of dry food and expensive canned food, twice a day, plus special cat milk.
Ok, we are up to two problems, housing and the cats.
How about medical to make three. Wildly fluctuating blood pressure, obstructed carotid artery, goiter, arthritis, allergies, weight loss. I am sure there are more and if you met my Mother, you would hear about them all, over several hours if she could. She has always been somewhat prone to discussing her medical problems, but she is now much worse. Step Father's teenage grand daughter rang to wish Mother a happy easter, and she received a long recitation of Mother's illnesses. I doubt she will call again. It is fine for us. We are used to it. But you can't inflict that on teenage kids.
Mother talking endlessly about her medical problems is making her a person to socially avoid.
One matter I have decided, in consultation with my brothers and sister, is to pay private health insurance for her. Top hospital cover will be $24 a week, not much split four ways. About the same amount of money she spends a week feeding the cats. My comment about such to her did not go down well.
You want another? Mother used to have a couple of garage sales each year. She stopped about four years ago, but the collecting of items for a sale did not. There is a shed, a garage and bedroom overflowing with items for a sale. Both she and my Step Father were hoarders. We will have to organise and run it soon.
Mother has a few friends and they have been very kind by making sure she gets out, taking her to medical appointments, fixing minor matters around the house when none of us children are available. But Mother using them like a taxi service cannot last. I printed the forms out to get a subsidised taxi fare, but she has lost the forms the doctor has to sign.
But the biggest problem is her introspection. Every thing in the world is about her. While never very interested in public affairs, she seldom watches any tv news, barely reads a newspaper, has no interests other than herself and to a lesser degree her friends a family. She has never had any hobbies except for gardening and she still does this at least, but without the enthusiasm that she used to have.
She can't go out before twelve noon, as she has her jobs to do. What jobs? She is a widow living alone? How much can there be to do? She won't be flexible to fit in with other people who are doing her favours.
That brings me to the latest problem, water. Our government wants us to use no more than 155 litres per person to conserve our water supply. R and I come in under this, but then we don't have a garden.
Sister was at Mother's when her water bill arrived. She has averaged 724 litres of water per day. I can't imagine how she can use so much. Clearly quite a lot goes on the garden, but she has to hand water within restricted times. Sister also says Mother is inclined to wash very few items of clothes per washing machine load, but then I know she can adjust the water level on her washing machine. (I have since learnt from R when he took Little Jo to the park today, that she uses full load setting regardless of what is in the machine).
Then there is the ashes, my Step Fathers. Mother's friend picked them up from the funeral parlour. I am not sure how this is allowed, but the friend said to Mother one day when driving her home, I have L in the boot. Mother was highly amused but refused to have the ashes in the house. The friend took the ashes to her home and they are now sitting on her husband's filing cabinet. At some point we are going to scatter them at Rose Avenue, Cowes, Phillip Island, a quiet beach both Mother and Step Father loved. Actually, I kind of agree with Mother on this. Ashes around the home would be a bit creepy for me.
While her life as she knew it came to an end with the death of my Step Father, Mother used to be fun to be with and at times interesting, but she has becoming a tedious self obsessed bore. Are you allowed to say that about a mother who you love and consider has been a good mother? We'll get there. It will just take some time.