Cat's out of the Bag

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Cat's out of the Bag

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It happened very quickly. Mom found out we had emptied the storage unit and she went into a total panic.

I was out and didn't get the phone call, so it fell on my husband to try and dodge questions, not from Mom, but from Dad. Dad has always served as the buffer between Mom and the rest of the world. My husband doesn't make a good buffer, so when I got home, he was livid. I was supposed to call Mom immediately and tell her what I did with everything. Mom was really anxious. When he was done telling me what Dad had said, he turned to me and blurted out, "When your dad is gone, your mom is going to be a real pain to deal with."

Okay. I'm afraid I was very tactful. I looked up at him and said, "REALLY? YOU THINK SO? TELL ME ABOUT IT."

Nothing like a bit of sarcasm before bed.

It was 9:15 pm. I don't call anyone after 9:00 pm. At 9:20, she called me. Why hadn't I told her I was emptying the storage unit? Where was her stuff? She wanted to come and get it all.

I responded with the pre-recorded answer in my brain, "We can't really worry about that now. We just need to take care of Dad."

But.. I obviously didn't know what it was like to want something for years and never, ever have anything nice and then, just when you finally have nice things, they're taken away from you. (I also don't know what it's like to max out several credit cards by ordering clothes and other things on a daily basis.)

I know Mom, but we can't really worry about that right now. We just need to take care of Dad.

But... she never had anything nice growing up and it took years before she was able to buy things. (And your older sisters wore fur coats, which were bought during the depression.)

I know Mom, but we really can't worry about that right now. We just need to take care of Dad.

But...DAD'S BEING TAKEN CARE OF EVERY DAY!

Ah. She's not the center of attention and doesn't get everything she wants.

I know Mom, but he's my dad and I need to take care of him.

She's still angry with me about her stuff, but I'm glad I could be firm and not cave in or get really angry with her. I know she's anxious because she will probably lose Dad sometime fairly soon (though I won't take any bets - he still says he only has 20 good years left) and so she's doubly anxious about "losing" her stuff and very impatient with Dad. It's not going to get better for awhile, methinks.

But... she would have liked to have at least been told the storage unit was being cleaned out.

I know Mom, you're ill, too. But sometimes standing calm and firm is the best way to take care of you. A little benign neglect goes a longer way than giving in to everything.

 

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jan

Good for you, Goldie! I hope you can build on that moment of calm and firmness.

EllysGdaughter

Oiy!! Standing firm is such a hard thing but YOU DID IT!!! I am sure that question about the storage and the heaping on of (potential) guilt can get old! You are the hero, Goldie! Even now that my Grandma is gone, I somehow can't get rid of some of this piddly stuff!!!

Goldie

Thanks, Deborah!