Thursday, January 28, 2016

I should have gone to work

This week looked at in advance was panning out well. I was not working Sunday, I did not have to work on the public holiday, Australia Day, and my other day off for the week was Thursday. I thought since I am not working Tuesday I better go with R on Thursday, his day for taking for taking Mother out and seeing in the old chook, as I had not seen her since early December.

Fate intervened with the death of our friend and nearly two weeks later, the funeral is today, Thursday. I found out last Thursday and quickly sent a text to R. So this week he could not take Mother out on Thursday. She quickly responded when he told her that perhaps he could come Wednesday. He agreed. Come Tuesday evening after I had the day off, I was feeling guilty and decided to have a sickness in family leave day and go with R to see Mother. It was the usual woe is me when she called yesterday morning, I am so unwell, with her Chemist Warehouse order. It is easier and much quicker to get her CW order on the way than take her there.

She greeted us as a miserable dying old lady, as per usual. She asked me to look at the vacuum cleaner as the thing inside wasn't spinning. It is the dust spinning around in the vacuum cleaner and sure enough, the filter was clogged with talcum powder.

Lunch at the agreeable cafe followed. As per usual the lonely old unwell widow had cheered up considerably and we were laughing and joking and recounting stories. Then to the bank to see if her pension had arrived, it hadn't. Then chemist for a script to be filled where she has a growing account balance after a change of chemist hands and she had pay out her bill, bakery for cakes for afternoon teas for the next week, IGA for a couple of things, Aldi for a few things, Subway for her dinner for later but it had a long queue so she left. She then wanted Big W for underwear which she did not buy but bought a dress instead and there was another Subway nearby to buy her dinner.

Among the many things we discussed was the about to be born great grandchild for her, another great niece for me. While I know we visited ex Sis in Law each time a nephew or niece was born, I have little recollection of details. Mother has full recollection of each of her grandchildrens' births. Dates, hospitals, rooms and minute detail. She has an amazing memory, except for the order of her own children's birth. She is unable or refuses to grasp the concept that her quarterly council rates are in order of her children, that is I pay the first quarter, ABI Brother the second etc. She likes to send her rates bill to me so she doesn't have to ask the others to pay. I tell her no, just send the bill to them in order of birth, but she won't. I now post them back to her with a note as to who should be paying them.

She had bought us lamingtons for afternoon tea once back at her Shabby Shack. I cleaned her air con filters and R put her bins out for collection and then brought them back in as it was not the usual Thursday when he visited but only Wednesday.

Feeling sorry for her at all? Wondering about her neglectful children? Don't. ABI Brother shops for her almost daily and sleeps over on Friday and Saturday nights because she is scared to be alone on those nights. Tradie Brother took her out for a long drive last Monday to Launching Place where they lunched at a seemingly terrific hotel called Home.

Sister is a long way away and doesn't see her too often but makes up for it with cash.

While she insisted on only being happy with HBA/BUPA when we agreed to pay her health insurance, ABI Brother has swapped from BUPA to Australia Pensioner Health Insurance, which is cheaper for him. There really is no need for Mother to have private health insurance. She has never used it since we have been paying from 2009 and has always been a public patient. Now she has asked me to look at API Health Insurance and if it is the same and cheaper, maybe for what we pay it could give her 'extras' cover. No thought of reducing the amount we pay.

My mother is evil at times, but you would never meet a more charming, friendly and chatty person. I was about fifty years old before I realised how smart and manipulative she is. Little Jo said to her the week before when she went with R on take Mother out Thursday, Nanny, when I am 18 you will be 92. Will you come to my party? In spite of Mother being so unwell with multiple illnesses, including addiction to pain killers, I suspect there is a good chance she will be at Little Jo's 18th birthday.

Today is our friend's funeral. Tea and cakes with the family afterwards and then drinks and a food platter at The Greyhound later. The Greyhound does that for the wake for a regular performing drag queen or a regular customer. I'll have my sunglasses handy for the funeral.

18 comments:

  1. I'm not sure why but at your reference to wearing sunglasses at the funeral my thoughts immediately turned to Lana Turner.

    No delete that, I'm being disrespectful.

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    1. Victor, it is not the first time I have made someone thing of Lana Turner.

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  2. I know where you're coming from. I feel the same after the 460 mile journey to see Mum which as you know I do every 3 to 4 weeks. A thank you now and again would be very welcome. I hope you have many happy memories to remember your friend.

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    1. Marie, that is such a long way. I guess we must remember it won't be forever.

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  3. It is so hard for elderly people, those who are still married but even worse for widows and widowers. I spent the last 4.5 years of my parents' lives in their care home ... and heard every moan, groan and weeping of all the residents.

    But it is difficult for their middle aged children too. I would have liked to have visited my parents every single day, but that would have been impossible (because of my work, home responsibilities and grandchildren) and unwise (being constantly surrounded by depressed elderlies would make me depressed).

    So brother and I compromised, as you and your siblings do. I visited every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; brother went every Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and the grandsons on Saturday. The compromise worked, but it wasn't easy.

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    1. Hels, I know what you mean by being surrounded by sad people. You did make your situation work well enough. You are fortunate to have contact with many young people such as your grandchildren and students.

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  4. Blimey, I'd like some sympathy as I'm the one and only. Even now she's retired my sister's visits are only 20 minutes twice a week.
    Your mother doesn't need medical insurance as a pensioner and the ambulance is free as well. Better to start a fund for the bond is she ever needs a care home, at the moment $200,000. to one million dollars, it's a disgrace.

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    1. Jah Teh, you will get your reward one day. If my mother has her way, it will be a sudden death from a heart attack. I don't look forward to all this care place stuff, let alone the money.

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  5. Funerals are never nice. One always needs sunglasses, just incase :)
    Your mother is lucky to have more than 1 child to lean on. Paying those two accounts - my goodness, you are all generous. I wonder why she can't pay them herself, but of course if she pays high rent then that's different.
    Thank goodness both my late parents had private health insurance, they needed it towards the end of their lives.

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    1. Margaret, she owns the house but is basically a shocking spendthrift, mainly on chemist products. I am going to look at a different company.

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  6. Needing underwear but buying a dress? Tut Tut, she'll be going commando I suppose?
    I need to get out my aircon booklet and see if I can work out how to clean the filters. Unless you'd like to pop over and do it for me?

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    1. River, oh god, not that again like when she had a rash. Too far to go for a day trip and you don't have a spare bed but they do need cleaning fairly often.

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  7. I take sunglasses and kleenex before even a strangers funeral. I blubber. I can't help it. I began the act of taking antihistamines first also, to dry me out, so I might blubber less perhaps. You sound like three of the best children any mother could ever want in her old age.

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    1. Strayer, I wasn't too bad. One of his sisters was quite upset but generally it wasn't highly emotional. There are four of us children. What else can we do?

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  8. Haven't been back to the Greyhound for ages. I feel it's lost some of it's charm after the major renovations and the crowd isn't as diverse as it once was (or maybe it's because I'm getting old).

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    1. Ad Rad, I had not been there since before the renovations, but this was in what was once the public bar. Quite nice really. Yes, others have said the crowd has changed.

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  9. Poor old Mum :) No I don't really mean that, you guys look after her very well Andrew and I'm sure she appreciates it although she would NEVER let you know it :)

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    1. Grace, au contraire, she often thanks us and out loud wonders how she would manage without our help. It is all part of the keep the kindness coming.

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