I can tell how much she has declined since it took her almost a half hour before she started yelling at me, while it has historically been under 2 minutes. (Her record is 17 seconds.) And she did not make any rude personal comments about my hair, my weight, or my clothing.
Things Mom yelled at me about (a partial list):
- Yahoo mail is no longer supporting her browser (some old version of IE under Windows XP). They gave her the option of switching to another browser or using basic mail. When she clicked on basic mail, she didn’t like that it didn’t look the same. This is allegedly my fault since it happened while I was there.
- When I told her on Friday night to take out the files she wanted me to go through, she said to just wake her in the morning. When I woke her in the morning, she screamed about my not letting her get enough sleep.
- She asked me to go through one part of the wall unit in the living room, which is where the photo albums are. She then complained that I went through the photo albums. (I took a bunch of photos to scan, but barely made a dent in them.) Taking them to scan means I am "stealing her memories."
- I don’t talk loud enough. The truth is that no human being could possibly talk over her television, which she listens to at top volume all the time. Because, you know, watching Shark Tank is ever so much more important than spending time with your family. She knows she needs hearing aids and just won’t get them. Yes, they can be expensive, but there are ways to save money on them. And there are things worth spending money on.
- I am going to break the shredder because I shred more than one piece of paper at a time.
- I am "wasting space in the garbage" by not cutting papers that don't need to be shredded into four pieces before putting them in the garbage bag.
Number of times she yelled at me to go home and leave her alone: approximately 37. I may have missed some, however. I told her that if I did that, I would not come back while she was alive.
On the plus side, I filled 4 large bags with shreddies from documents she had been saving without needing to. (I do this periodically. It is best to shred things while she is sleeping, So she doesn't try to stop me from getting rid of ancient bills and such. Her deafness is actually an advantage, since she can't hear the shredder running.) I don't believe I have persuaded her that there is no reason to save the brochures that come with stock proxies after voting the proxy.
I also have a better picture of her financial status. And I had a reasonably civilized discussion with my brother about what to do with her. She really should not be on her own, but it looks like she could manage with supportive services in her house a few days a week, instead of assisted living. She could also use somebody to force her to eat right. What kind of person orders mashed potatoes as their second side dish when a main course comes with rice? And she says her favorite meal is potato chips and coke.
It's all very difficult. I am increasingly convinced my father did me a favor by dying young, though I sorely wish I'd had more time with him, despite the turbulent relationship we had.