The maternal unit baffles yet again
Another daylog about my Mom. If you don't care for another story about my ailing mother, don't bother to read this.
So... I went to visit my mother yesterday. During the three days leading up to the visit she called me six times asking me just about the same questions each time, with only small variations. It's okay. I have the patience of... of something very patient. The key question, though, was about money.
My Mom is so forgetful she has a very hard time handling her own finances. My competent brother has taken over - with her conscent - and transfers small amounts to her account every week, allowing her to live rather comfortably from her pension without spending it all during the first couple of days. Now, as my brother is taking a much needed and well earned vacation in the south of France (lucky devil), my sister is handling the money. Naturally my mother calls me...
"So, you are coming up this Saturday...?"
"Yes, we are. Sis and I."
"Oh, lovely. You may want to bring along some food and things, because I have absolutely no money, and I haven't been able to shop for a few days."
"But Mom... Sis transferred 500,- to you. Twice. Last Friday and again Wednesday."
"She did? Oh that's nice. I didn't look. I'll just run up to the post office and check tomorrow morning. Is the post office open tomorrow. Is it Saturday tomorrow?"
"It's Friday tomorrow, so yes, they're open. See you Saturday then..."
I talked to my sister, later that day, and she informed me that she had checked Mom's account (you gotta love online banking
), and she (Mom) had indeed withdrawn 700,- of the 1000,- Sis had transferred. She had just forgotten about it. The next day I called my mother.
"Did I really withdraw that much money?? I don't remember doing that."
"You must have put it somwhere to keep it safe. You know you do that, Mom."
"I only ever put money in the little blue tin on the shelf. But it's empty."
"Mom... You put money everywhere. We have found money in the most weird places, don't you remember?"
"I guess I paid some bills then. You know, I forget things these days. I am almost 80, so I am excused. Only I have always been forgetful, haven't I?"
"You have that. We'll look for the money when we get there, okay?"
"Oh, you are coming up? Lovely. Be sure to bring some food and stuff, 'cause I have absolutely no money, and I haven't been able to go to the store for days..."
"I'll bring something. And then we'll look for the money. I know you must have them somewhere."
"You know, I am so forgetful these days. But I am almost 80, so I am excused..."
The three additional phonecalls went along the same lines. She also told me she had borrowed some money from a friend, so she had had to pay him back too. Yay. I don't know this person very well, and I don't know if he would cheat my Mom out of her money... I'll find out, though. If he is, I'll make his life a lot less fun.
Saturday we drove up there, my sister and I. Our mother lives in Sweden (she and our father moved to Sweden years ago, while us kids decided to stay in Denmark), and though it's not very far it's still a fair drive. I had bought a big bag of groceries, in case she had really lost the money somehow, and I had bought three rolls of some Dutch rusks that she loves. She was really happy when she saw them.
"Oh, these are so wonderful. I love them. Too bad I can't buy them here in Sweden."
"But you can, Mom. They're in the store. I have seen them."
"Really? That's nice. I haven't been able to find them, but now I'll look for them."
"You do that. I bought some butter too. They're so good with a little butter..."
"They really are. Too bad you can only buy them in Denmark, though."
"They are in the shop here, Mom. I saw them there, last time I went shopping for you."
"Really? Good. I'll remember to buy some..."
I counted the times we went over this. Eight times in as many minutes, more or less. My sister had to leave the kitchen to either cry or laugh, I am not sure which.
Mom's friend stopped by to say hello. It turns out he's really a nice sort; a bit lonely, very helpful, and seems to genuinely care for my Mom in a friendly way. He had suggested to my mom, earlier that same day, that she'd look through everything to find the missing money. She had told him to "stop treating her like a baby", and hung up the phone on him (that is: they were talking on the phone, and she hung up...). This had happened a few hours before we got there, so naturally she had forgotten all about it by the time he came by.
We did find most of the money in some old tin on one of her shelves. Where she never put money, of course. My sister and I went shopping for cat food (for the cat), and put the rest of the money back in the tin. Next time she calls about money I'll know where to tell her to look. Because chances are she'll forget pretty quickly about this tin, so the money'll still be there for a while...
They say senility is genetic, don't they? Damn! Oh, well... thank you for your time.