I was so thrilled when the stars seemed to line up in regards to moving my mother. My younger brother found an assisted living center we could move her into on 9/2. My brother began his drive, hauling his trailer from St. Louis to Fredericksburg. I went to Lowes to get packing supplies, and the machine began to roll once again. He arrived Friday 8/29. We began the moving process once again, one year to the day that we moved her from Massachusetts to Virginia. Wrap, pack, load.
My Uncle and Aunt drove down from New Jersey to spend Saturday afternoon and evening with us, and to be on hand to say goodbye on Sunday morning. We had a fantastic afternoon, and dinner out. I only had a few uncomfortable moments during “cocktail” hour, but all in all, I weathered the drinking without a craving or trigger.
My brothers and I had done a lot of task assignment to make the transition from independent living to assisted living as seamless as possible. Everyone had their tasks.
Advanced Medical Directives were written, with an assist from my husband who is an MD. They were to be taken to Missouri for notarization. Task completed, or so I thought.
Medical records were collected and filed for transfer to the new physicians in St. Louis.
The codicil to Mom’s will was added, cremation and burial details. A cremation outfit was picked out.
My younger brother lives 6 miles away from the assisted living center and will be the on site person for her immediate care.
My older brother and I are taking charge of her finances. No need for her to worry about money at this time in her life.
Then the proverbial shit hit the proverbial fan. Money, medical care, hospice, and alcohol all became hot button issues. Items that had already been checked off the “to do” list were being brought back to the table, questioned, and being redone.
The emails began to fly, Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
The cohesive team that had gotten her moved halfway across the country in a weekend was tearing apart at the seams.
It was so reminiscent of my father and his brother fighting over the care of their 97 year old mother. They emailed their way into never speaking to each other again. My Grandmother died at the age of 100, and they still don’t speak.
There is a lot of ego involved in all of this.
We still have many hurdles to overcome.
I hope that these initial interactions are the exception to what the future will bring.
As time goes on, my mother is going to get worse, and we will need to work together. We will need to be able to talk, be reasonable and come to agreement on many, many things, bigger things than what we have faced so far.
We need to get it together. We need to set aside our egos, we need to all get back in the huddle, and head toward the goal line together.
That goal is to get the best possible care for my very sick mother, we also need to remain a team.
There is no I in team, but there is in WIN.