Yesterday my mom set off her Life Alert alarm by accident.
The Life Alert dude was alerted and called my mom to see if she was okay or if it was a false alarm. My mom didn't answer the phone. Life Alert dude called my sister to see if she thought he should call an ambulance. She wasn't sure. My sister called me to see if I thought she should tell Life Alert dude to call an ambulance. I had tried to call Mom a few minutes before all this and thought it was weird she didn't answer the phone so when my sis asked if she should give Life Alert dude a green light on the ambulance calling, I said, Yes, tell the dude to call an ambulance.
I was worried and scared. I was so worried and scared I appeared to be completely calm. I'm never calm. When I appear calm, you know bad shit is happening.
I couldn't leave my house to go to my mom's to see what the hell was happening, I felt completely useless. So I waited and finished cooking dinner and exuded an air of calm which freaked the kids out.
I kept imagining my mom lying on the floor, hurt, unable to reach the phone. I called her number in the hope that she might answer and be just fine But she did not answer, just the automated robot man voice, please leave a message. So I did. I said, "It's going to be okay Mom. Help is on the way. Don't worry. Hang in there. I love you." I imagined that if my mother was lying on the floor expiring, perhaps my words would be the last she heard. If I couldn't be there to hold her hand, at least my disembodied voice floating from the answering machine might be a comfort. And then I thought maybe it would scare her, so I hung up.
A few minutes later I got a call. It was Mom. I can't tell you what a relief it was to hear her voice. She reminded me that the folks in her building were having a community Thanksgiving supper. She'd been happily chowing down on her mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce when a couple of paramedics bustled into the building. Mom wondered who might have taken ill or gotten hurt.
The paramedics headed down the hall to my mom's apartment. One of the other residents saw them at my mom's door. She told the paramedics that my mom was at the dinner in the community room. The paramedics hustled into the community room. My mother asked them, "What the hell do you want with me? I'm perfectly fine, obviously." And then they left. Also, the turkey was dry. She was not going to eat that dry turkey. Roast pork was also on the menu but she can't stand roast pork I mean...REALLY. Roast pork? Bleh! Dry turkey! Bleh! But the stuffing was very nice.
I was never so happy to hear her complain in my life. How bad was the turkey, Mom? Tell me again!
So, now it's today. Well, it's today for about 45 minutes more, then it'll be tomorrow. But while it's still today, it's the day before Thanksgiving.
I finally had a job to go to today, a good thing. When you work for yourself, it can suck like that.
I was thankful for the work today even though the timing sort of sucked.
The kids were home today. I could have been home with them making happy holiday memories arguing about cleaning and cooking and stuff. But no.
I worked like a normal person, came home did my dishes so I could start cooking and make more dirty dishes, I made some food for kids to eat, and then kids and I made a couple of pies.
We ate dinner. My husband was due to come home around 6:30.
He and the kids were going to make their super special traditional holiday pies and I was going to clean the house, mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, that sort of thing. You really can't mop floors and clean bathrooms for company too far ahead. People walk on floors and they .. you know ... go to the bathroom. Floors and bathrooms get dirty quickly.
You must wait to mop and clean the bathrooms for the exact right time.
So I waited.
Before my husband arrived home, I got a call from my elderly mom.
She hadn't felt well today.
She told me about her sink full of dirty dishes.
She told me about the cat vomit and cat litter on the rug.
She mentioned that the nice lady who cleans for her did not mop her kitchen or bathroom today.
She mentioned that she had mountains of dirty laundry.
I asked if she needed a hand.
She said, "Oh, no no...unless you want to come over."
Of course I do.
I got nothing else going on, Mom.
Happy to do it.
"Great! Since you're going by the grocery store on your way here, could you pick me up a few things?"
No problem, Mom.
So, after my husband came home, I braved the grocery store for an odd assortment of items and I headed to Mom's.
I did her dishes, fixed her mop so I could mop the floors, and then mopped the floors. I swept cat litter up, I helped her open her medication bottles, took out her garbage. I fixed her vacuum and then vacuumed her rugs, made her bed, got her mail, gave her walker a good clean up because really, yikes, and I loaded up a mountain of dirty laundry to bring home with me to do tonight.
I got home around 10:30 or so.
It's cool. Before I left she told me she had been feeling a little lonely today and was glad to see a familiar face. She thanked me again for coming over and doing stuff. I told her I didn't mind at all.
And I didn't mind. Honest. I was happy, truly happy to help my mom.
I am not going to get around to cleaning my house tonight though. Maybe tomorrow, but maybe not. When my company comes over, nobody is going to be checking out my dirty floors. If they do, they're all such good kind people, it won't be in a mean way. They might look at the magnificently dirty kitchen floor and say, "Whoa! Nobody does dirty kitchen floor quite as well as you!"
Plus, with all those folks walking around the house, it makes sense to wait until Friday to mop. Really. It's just going to get dirty again. The bathrooms, I'll get to them, but the floors and the tidying up? Not looking likely. But that's okay.
So as I hastily tap this little story blog post thing out, in the last remaining minutes of Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my beautiful good kids, my loyal and steadfast husband, and my mom, who is still here.