Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mom's Closet Encounter

                                                         
                                                               
                 

Welcome to the April edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group . Be sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the rest of the extremely talented writers who may have an insecurity or two.

                                                          Mom's Closet Encounter

In February my mom went from the hospital to rehab and back again. Fortunately, her new home is conveniently located across the parking lot from the hospital, so on a nice day she can be wheeled over for a tune-up. Through it all, my mom hasn't lost her sense of humor, or her ability to unleash my insecurities.

Here is a brief sampling of her latest adventures:

Last week my brother suggested that we arrange for a prepaid funeral for our mom in order to lock in today's rates. A women from the funeral home agreed to meet us over at the healthcare residence. My plan was that I would keep her busy in the room, while my brother and my husband spoke with the woman downstairs.

Once we arrived, my mom said she wanted to join us. I thought this was a terrible idea, and was worried that my mom would spiral into a deep depression. At the very least, the thought of spending a lot of money on something she couldn't even enjoy would give her indigestion, but only her favorite child knew that she wouldn't mind planning her own funeral.

Her first concern was about the bugs. "I don't want a wood casket, because the bugs will get in. I'll also need a good hairdresser. I don't care that I'll have a closed casket. I'll need an experienced beautician that knows how to tease hair. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt if she could do a little something with my daughter's hair too."

A few days later she had trouble hearing me on the phone. Since she has difficulty bearing weight, my brother wanted to use a transfer belt to help get her in and out of the car on a trip to the dentist.

Mom: A transfer what?
Mumbling Daughter: Belt.
Mom: I still can't make out what you're saying.
MD: A belt. B as in boy, E as in egg, L as in your name Lois, and T as in Tom. Belt.
Mom: A brft? What's a brft?
MD:  Are you playing an April Fools joke on me?
Mom: No.
MD: Ok. What do you use to hold up your pants?
Mom: Suspenders.

For the last several weeks I've been bringing my mom's clothes from her apartment to her new residence, and whatever there isn't room for I've divided into bags for donating, and bags to store at my house which now looks like Disneyland for hoarders. My mom had every closet in her apartment filled with clothes, and she generously allotted her live-in caregiver ample space to store all of her belongings on top of the refrigerator.

In addition, she had a storage locker filled with clothing that she had no intention of parting with. My mom has collected more than 37 vests throughout the years, and when I asked her which ones she'd like to keep, she replied, "All of them."

Last night my mom sounded upset when she called, so I asked her what was wrong. She told me that someone had broken into her closet. Though she has a very stylish wardrobe, I couldn't believe that anyone  would actually empty out her closet. She said, "Oh no, my closet is still completely full. I just don't recognize any of the clothes in it."



33 comments:

  1. Funny about your mom and her clothes. Sounds like a job helping her relocate. I'm just starting the process of putting my mom on some waiting lists for independent living/nursing homes where I live in case she needs to move someday.

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  2. I so missed you and your mom stories. She is so lucky to have such a kind daughter who is there for her all the time. I really think you are her favorite child even if she does not express it.

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  3. Hi Julie - gosh your mother really does pull the emotional chords doesn't she ... still at least you get to laugh ... and that's the important bit. I hope you have many more 'happy' times together and can get that repartee going ... take care and with thoughts - Hilary

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  4. LOL! Suspenders. I love it. It may be hard seeing her get older and lose abilities, but thank you for sharing her with us. She brightened my day.

    Crystal Collier

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  5. When my Mom went into a nursing home, I had to pack up and dispose of virtually everything in her one-bedroom apartment. I still can't believe how much work it was. Thank goodness she didn't live in a house and wasn't a hoarder!

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  6. Oh dear........I totally understand. My Dad has every nook and cranny in the house filled with clothes (under the bed too). Very neat and orderly and they won't leave as long as he's there. We wish someone would break in and steal them. I feel your pain and glad you can chuckle. All the best....

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  7. I think I love your mom! My mom planned her own funeral with the music, speakers, Bible verses etc, but I'd be more like yours-- thinking about how to keep the worms out of the casket and who was going to do my hair. I love her comment about "her daughter's hair." LOL.

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  8. All of these were funny in their own way. I'm not at all surprised that your mom would want to plan her own funeral. Of course, she'd want her hair done, even though the casket will be closed. When she meets her maker, she wants to look her best...

    The belt thing. I gotta wonder if she wasn't messing with you on that one.

    The one that was bittersweet was the closet full of clothes she didn't recognize. That depresses the crap out of me. On the glass half full side: it's like she has new clothes all the time.

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  9. Your mother is a riot. You really need to write a book about her.

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  10. I've missed you and your mom, Julie. This made me laugh when I got to the part about "my daughter's hair." Only your mom would request a beautician for her funeral, closed casket and all.

    Hope you're well, dear friend.

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  11. I actually think I would get a kick out of sitting down and planning my final farewell. In fact, I may suggest...oh, you know what I would suggest.

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  13. You know that saying, "Been there. Done that."? Yep. What is wonderful here is that you and your family have the sense to make this part of life as natural as all the other parts. And filled with humor--at least your reporting of it! Great to read about your mom again. I always wax sentimental reading the stories.

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  14. I went through this too with both of my parents. The suspenders line made me laugh. Having a sense of humor helps a great deal, but I know it is an exhausting time. Sorting through all the clothes was quite a chore for me. Thinking of you and wishing you and your mom well.

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  15. GEM JULIE ~
    It sure was a long wait between blog bits, but it was worth the wait: I literally laughed-out-loud several times while reading this!

    Your Mom is a laugh riot, and I agree with Alex in that I too think there's a book here!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  16. Is your post based in life? Thought it might be but wasn't sure. Respectful handling you have, of a sometimes overlooked real world concern. Nice to see your blog post this IWSG.

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    1. Odell - I just read your End of the Day's Refection" post and really enjoyed it, but I couldn't find where to write a comment or the "like" button. Thank you again, Julie

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  17. Natalie - You're wise to get your mom on a waiting list. It's amazing how quickly these places fill up.I hope your mom won't be needing one for many years to come. Thanks Natalie!

    Joanne - I just had a discussion about this with someone. She said her dad was a depression era baby and he didn't want to part with anything. This is probably the case with your dad. Maybe you can work with him one drawer at a time when you're in town. Thanks Joanne!

    Arleen - I read your comment to my mom today,and she just smiled. She'll never tell! Thanks Arleen!

    Hilary - Yes, she does like to pull the "emotional chords!" I remember how you always wrote fondly of your mum, and made each day an adventure with her. Thanks Hilary!

    Crystal - It's actually helpful to write about her antics, so we can laugh about these moments together. Thanks Chrystal!

    Debra - Isn't it amazing how much they could cram into a one bedroom apartment? I'm sorry you had to go through that with your mom. I know how difficult it is. Thanks Debra!

    Karen - Your mom sounds like a real hoot! I have to give her extra points for being so organized, and detail oriented. I'm sure she filled up a few chapters in your books! Thanks Karen!

    Julie

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  18. Robin - Afterwards, we figured out that my mom only forgot about some of the clothes, and that was because they probably haven't been worn in years. Believe me, soon she'll start asking for some of the clothes that I've given away, and I'll be in a whole lot of trouble! Thanks Robin!

    Alex - I would like to someday. Thanks for the encouraging words, and for hosting another wonderful IWSG, Alex!

    Robyn - When she stops caring about her hair, then I'll really start worrying! Hope you're doing well too, my funny and talented friend!

    Al - I hope you've given more thought to my Mr. Bones idea. Hey, it will cost a lot less than a funeral! Thanks Al!

    Julie

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  19. Lee, I'm sorry this brings back so many bittersweet memories for you. I know you were a huge help to your mom, and that's more than anyone can ask for. Thanks Lee!

    Connie - I'm sorry that you also had to go through this. It's hard enough with one - I can't imagine having to do it for both parents. Thanks Connie!

    Stephen - I've really missed blogging, and after thinking about these stories, I couldn't wait to write about them. My mom is definitely my muse. Thanks so much Stephen!

    Odell - Yes, this is about real life, though I tend to embellish slightly. It's nice to meet you. Thanks Odell!

    Susan - Yes, she is very sharp, but she has her moments like all of us. Hope you're holding up okay, Susan. I know it's been about two months since you lost your mom, and can only imagine how difficult it must be. Take care, Susan and Thank you!

    Julie

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  20. Only your mom could make paying for a funeral funny. I laughed out loud about doing something with your hair too. I'm sorry she's had a rough time but glad it hasn't dampened her spirits!
    I agree with Alex, you really should write a book about your mom.

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  21. You mother is not the only one with a sense of humor. When you can laugh it makes things seem better.

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  22. Your mother sounds like a great lady. I'm glad her sense of humor makes you smile through the very tough times. I too would want to be part of the planning, she sounds very grounded and smart! Lovely post!
    Thanks for sharing with us and thanks for stopping by Parallels!

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  23. Julie - I really was surprised that my mom was such a good sport about the funeral arrangements. We've joked about it before, but it's different when you're actually doing it. Many of our conversations do revolve around our good and bad hair days, so it was bound to come up again! Hope your mom is doing well. Thanks Julie!

    Yvonne - I agree that having a good sense of humor goes a very long way! Thanks Yvonne!

    Yolanda - I just read your comment to my mom, and she loved hearing that you thought she was "grounded and smart!" Thank you so much, Yolanda!

    Julie

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  24. Your mother seems to be a brave and strong minded lady. Humors makes people to be relaxed. You all are gifted to have a mom like this...

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  25. Suspenders! You need to use that in a book. :)

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  26. Your mom sounds a great lady. And fun too!

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  27. This post really makes me smile :) your mom is kind of awesome

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  28. Your mom sounds great. Having a sense of humor always helps.

    https://ficklemillennial.wordpress.com

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  29. WW - Truer words were never spoken! Thank you!

    Libby - I'd like to someday! Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    Olivia - Are you sure you haven't met? You hit the nail on the head! Thanks Olivia!

    Keith - Thanks Keith! I couldn't agree with you more!

    Gina - Fortunately, my mom does have a great sense of humor! Thanks Gina!

    Julie

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  30. We're fashionably late. So late that the spam comments have already come in. But this was absolutely worth the wait. Your mom is such a character. She's a joy to read about. I'll echo the others and say that you definitely should write a book about your muse - she is hilarious, and I'm definitely jealous of her wit, especially for her age.

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    Replies
    1. Bryan and Brandon - You are never too late and always welcome anytime! I'm the one who's been so far behind at posting and visiting. Thanks for the kind words about my mom - my muse! Thanks also for the reminder about the spammer. I need to do a lot of spring cleaning around here.

      Julie

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