"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oh Helen... How Sad!

Patrick and I arrive in Santa Clarita after a 7 hour drive from Arizona to see how the estate sale is going. We
want to finish clearing out Helen's condo so it will sell. It is still packed with treasures.

After that we go to Helen's Assisted living apartment. The moment we walk in she is already complaining. 
"You have a house, Tim has a house, Todd has a house...I have nothing," she is crying.
"But mom, remember we need to sell your things so you have money to live. Remember I told you we are helping you gather a pot of gold."
"How much did you get for the Estate Sale?'
"Not sure, but we hope it is enough to pay for the painters to fix up the living room with those high ceilings...and the loft too. We also want to have the carpet cleaned. Then next week we can put it up for sale. We talked to the realtor and he said to get a quick sale we needed to clean it up. Patrick and I are washing the other walls and cleaning out everything. Boxing up the leftovers to donate."
" So you made nothing...NOTHING!"
" Mom it is really too bad that it rained buckets for the two days of the sale...I think that didn't encourage folks to come by and have a look...and I guess you didn't understand me last week when I tried to explain...half the money will go to the people who set up the sale. That is for all their work: two days pricing everything and advertising, then two days at the condo dickering with customers for the best price. There were 4 people working. They had it looking like a fancy boutique."
"But you have nothing for all my beautiful things. OR my sewing machine"
"Mom you have not touched that sewing machine for years."
"I need to fix Tim's lace tablecloth."
"That has been sitting in the living room to be fixed for over four years."
"I can't get up the stairs."
"I know...so...We sold the machine to someone who was so happy to have it."
Helen glares and gives a very dirty look...
"Mom...please listen! The money will pay for the repairs to the condo...Patrick and I have been cleaning so it can sell."
"My house was not dirty. I cleaned it all the time."
"No mom! it was dirty...You couldn't get out of your wheelchair to clean for 2 years...the cleaning ladies only did the top stuff, not the walls or doors, or corners...look at my hands...all chipped and worn from cleaning."
"Not dirty."
NEXT DAY telephone conversation
"So! do you have something to say."
"About What?"
"What are you talking about?"
"You came into my room while I was downstairs for dinner...and took my phone charger!"
"Mother! Why would I do that...we have been boxing up your stuff that did not sell to donate to the Hope Rescue Mission. We have been in your condo all day long . I did not take anything, you must have lost it."
"Did not!"
"I'll see you tomorrow."
"Hi mom." As I walk into the room.
Silence from Helen...looking at her hands and picking at a bag around her neck...
"How are you?" I say.
Silence, Helen looks up with nasty mean eyes...but says nothing.
"Mom, please stop! Everyone here and your family want to help you! I am sorry you can't be in the condo, but you cannot walk up the stairs. I promised to find you a nice place...look around, many of your things are here, your couch, TV, bookcases, tables and chairs; even your dishes; All so you can feel like this is home. Look! Patrick is putting up your pictures."
"I want to be in my house."

"Mom, I know you do; but we talked about this. We found you this nice place to live with people to help you day and night. We need to sell the condo to pay for this. You are lucky you can sell it and have your pot of gold."
"You spent my pot."
"I spent it on you so you can be in a nice place. and please don't forget to be nice to the people who are helping you...nice to family and staff so you will get good care and you can be happy."
"Where is my charger?"
I pick up her handbag on the floor, find her phone charger and give it to her.
She begins to wind the cord and won't look at me.
"Well mom, see you tomorrow."
"Hi mom."
"How are you doing."
"Are you done ranting at me."
"Mom, I'm not ranting, I'm trying to explain things to you."
"Todd came by and explained everything and now I understand. Why couldn't you explain like him."
"I'm glad he explained it so you understand...
We are going home to Arizona tomorrow, but will be back next week for the carpet cleaning."
"How is Tim, why won't he call me?"
"Maybe because it tires him out...he is very sick."
"I know he's sick but he could call and make sure I'm okay."
I'm not surprised that it is all about Helen, but that is how it has always been.
"Here are the tums you wanted mom. I brought enough diapers for a few months because after next week we won't be back for a while."
"I'm getting up." uh uh uh Uh Uh UH UH! Don't help me.
"Mom, you can't do that...you'll fall...push the button and call for the nurse...(I give her a kiss and she turns her head.)
We have to go...see you next week."

I left feeling like every time I talk to my mother I'm down the rabbit hole in Wonderland. Everything is twisted around and topsy turvy! so "Where is the white rabbit?"

New Development
The phone rang and Patrick's older brother has been diagnosed with dementia and is wandering around the streets. Guess we may move him to a lock up facility in Tucson when we move there...His wife said "He went outside in nothing but his diaper." His wife can't manage him anymore! What makes her think we can manage him? Am I losing my mind or am I simply the bologna in the sandwich, with pressure on all sides...covered with mayonnaise and green relish!

Has anyone else been in this kind of a situation...please let me know...and let me know how you managed to get through it with your sanity! Anyone! Anyone? Anyone?

UP-date! We came home for four days, did a bit of laundry and drove back to Calif. We arrived just as the carpet cleaners pulled up. The homeless mission will pick up the last of Helen's belongings. Then we painted and cleaned and packed and by Monday the condo will be on the market.
We visited Helen before we left. We were both dirty, covered with paint and obviously exhausted. She wanted me to put up more of her pictures and put away dishes and move things around...finally Patrick said, I'm tired and starving, we didn't have lunch so we need to go. As I went over to give her a hug she demanded, "When will you be back." I told her we would be back for her Birthday Sept 16 when she will be 98. 

No comments:

Post a Comment