Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Can I Live With You?

I stopped to visit Mom today about 6 pm, after taking the dog and cat to the vet, after teaching in the morning and staying on campus until 3 pm so two students could make up the midterm they missed last week.

Connie, the private caregiver, was with Mom, as she is on Tuesdays 2-10 pm and Wednesdays 5pm - 1 am. I greeted them both. Mom was sitting in her recliner watching the musical Annie on her television.

"How are you?" I began. "Did you have your dinner tonight?"

"Yes, but I'd like to come up to your house for supper," Mom said. "Can I do that? Can I take Connie and live with you? I don't like being here. I'd rather be with you."

Wham--all these demands, when I was doing a very brief visit and preparing to leave for a week to travel to the East coast.

"Well, Connie can't live at my house. She has a husband and two kids. She doesn't want to leave them," I began.

"But I could live with you," she continued.

"Well, I don't think that would work very well. I'd have to be there all the time to take care of you and cook three nice meals a day, like the ones they give you here. I couldn't take you to the bathroom all day and do your bath every night. I have to teach my classes," I tried to explain.

"Oh! Well, I guess you can't. Then I want to go to the Chapter House where my mother lived," she said.

"That's in Colorado, a long way from me. I'd have to move to Colorado, and I can't do that."

She pretty much accepted these realities, once reminded of them.

But her initial joy over her new plan--moving in with me--was so touching. I felt bad that actually I am planning to be away for a week... she will be abandoned, from her point of view.

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