My Mother

This post is for posterity. Which means me, later on, when I am wondering if this is all a dream.

In November, my sister from North Carolina (hereafter SNC) flew in. She flew in to the big airport, four exits from our neighborhood. She flew in at 8:30. And my mom was not there. Not only was my mom not there, she was at home, an hour from big airport. So she called me at 9 and asked if R could pick up SNC. So he jumped out of bed, where he had been taking a well-deserved sleep, and went to get her. Mom called at 10 and asked if we could meet her halfway. I said no. I was having to work. So Mom said she’d come over. (This is an hour after my sister has been picked up by my husband and an hour and a half after she should have been at the airport.) Then, at 11, she still has not even left her house. She asks if SNC can borrow my car to come to her house. I say yes.

Next day… My mom calls as I am going to church, leaving the house early because I teach Bible school. She is having a dinner party this evening and has decided she needs all new dishes. Would I go find them? Foolish, loving, me, I say I will. Mom is coming this way, anyway, with SNC, to return her to the airport. But they’ll be here early, so we have to bug out of church.

So, I skip the service, go to the store and call Mom. Which ones did she want? She screams (literally) into the phone and says that SNC and SH (Houston) won’t let her go to church. They say that if she’s not home by 10:30, they won’t let her take SNC to the airport. (Well, duh. SNC has to have left by then to catch her plane. Apparently if she is relying on my mother, she can forget that.) Mom yells over the phone at me telling me that if she doesn’t go to church this morning she and SNC are going to die. (I get the impression “and go to Hell” is on the end of that, though she doesn’t say it.)

It is 10 am. She is in the car, or so she says, going to church. But church starts at 8:45, so she’s a bit late. She says she must go. She must have communion. She must. After yelling a lot, I finally calm her down enough to hang up.

Five minutes later she calls me back and says in a sing-song voice that she is in the back, by the pool, watching the birds. It’s so beautiful. It’s wonderful….

So I call SNC who says Mom got dressed for church this morning but when, at 8:30, they were walking out of the house, she decided she needed oatmeal for breakfast. And since they didn’t have any, they had to go to the store to get it, make it and eat it. You can’t do that in 15 minutes. And now, SNC says, she is sitting in the truck wondering where Mother is. I tell her mother is by the pool watching birdies.

I call Mom on her cell phone and tell her that SNC is waiting in the car. Mom tells me to call her back and tell her that she’s coming. Does Mom walk down the driveway? I mean, that’s next to the pool. No, she goes inside, she walks down the stairs, all the stairs, with her not working very well legs, and gets to the car.

We buy the things she asked for. (It’s the last time. I promise, R.) We meet her for lunch. Not an early lunch, a late one. We could have gone to church.

Then she leaves, calling in an order for pork chops for her dinner party… Which was a disaster because she didn’t go pick up the food till it was time for it to start and all sorts of things like that.

She’s lost it. Or at least she’d lost it that day.

It’s been over a month, because that was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I’m not sure she’s found it yet. It’s a bit scary. Mum’s only 60. She’s not 88 or anything, where you might expect a stroke or Alzheimer’s.

My mom’s lost it.