My mom had an accident on Thursday. She's not hurt. Her car is totaled.
This is her third accident in about 18 months.
The worst part is she didn't really know why she was where she was when the accident happened. She was supposed to be driving home from D13's sixth grade graduation. Somehow she ended up on the other side of town.
She gets lost several times a month and calls me for directions.
It's time to stop driving and she is fighting me. She can't admit that she was lost and confused and was in the wrong place. She can't say why she was there.
Friday morning J48 and I went to the body shop and cleaned out her car. Then we stopped by her house and told her about the car.
Even though I had told her several times Thursday that I didn't think she should drive anymore I still had to have the conversation with her again. There was a bit of wailing and drama. She cried "No!", covered her face with her hands, flailed her body onto the couch and cried.
I just waited. Over the past couple of years I've witnessed several of these outbursts. To be completely honest with you, they make me mad. It's so childish.
But that's what she's becoming. A child.
She can't see it and that is possibly the most frustrating part.
She can't pay her bills. She can't really find her way around town. She doesn't remember conversations. When I make a list it's very clear in which direction we are headed.
This is the accident you hear about. The accident that pushes you into the next step of caregiving. Taking the car. Getting a referral to a neurologist. Setting up appointments to visit assisted living.
She's not going down easy. She is whiny and petulant and angry with me.
Every step needed in this process is not one she wants to take. Everything is going to be my fault.
I feel very alone. Her cousin in Michigan is telling her to "not give up without a fight."
Her cousin in Michigan has no idea.
Today I'll go to her house and we'll have the same conversations. Will I let her get a car? She's not as bad as I say she is. She doesn't want to move. She can't live in that house without a car. She has been independent for 40 years. She can't depend on other people.
I will try very hard not to be impatient or mean. I will try very hard not to reason with with her. Because I can't. There is no reasoning with her.
All my life she wanted me to be the adult and she the child. She wanted me to make decisions for her and then would blame me for the decision -- even if I hadn't made it.
Now I am making the decisions and she is blaming me. For her aging. For the deterioration of her mind. For trying to keep her safe. For trying to keep others safe.
Am I doing the right thing? Taking her car away? I don't know. Yes. It doesn't seem possible, but yes.
This is where we are now. Whether she can see it or not.
This is where we are.