It’s Not Right!!

When rolling the groceries to the car, she suddenly jerked the cart back, pulling my hand loose. It nearly turned over. “NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT! IT”S NOT RIGHT!” Do what? She stormed off back toward Publix. I called to her with no result. Finally I left the cart to go after her.

She stopped before going through the front doors. Whenever I asked her to come with me, she would shout “NO, IT’S NOT RIGHT!”. It was really awkward in the middle of a crowd. Suddenly, she turned and followed me to the car, retrieving the cart on the way. Once in the car, she refused to put on the seatbelt. After several requests, I carefully reached over and drew it across her, nervous that she would grab my arm or even strike me. I clicked it into place and backed out the car. The trip home was wonderfully silent. In the garage, she walked back to the trunk and helped me carry the groceries. Everything was “fine” again.

Biscuit-the-dog always knows when something has happened. He looks for attention more than usual. Barb begins to empty the plastic grocery bags onto the kitchen table. When she came to the Breyer’s Ice Cream, she began tearing at the top to get the box open. I normally use a paring knife to chop through the tough plastic seal that circles the top. Soon the box was open and the box top lay upside down on the table, the plastic seal still attached. The fat open box of Neopolitan ice cream displayed the three sections of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

Barb stood bent over with her head in the refrigerator, looking for something mysterious. “Would you like some ice cream?”, I asked while placing two small bowls on the table. “Yeah-uss,” she drawled in that familiar sweet southern accent. I scooped the cold delight into the two small bowls. I always use the smallest ones we have because I fill up whatever bowl I use, then I enjoy the whole thing and have another bowl full. Been known to finish off an entire carton of Breyer’s ice cream.

Barb gulped down her bowl and while I was putting groceries away, she gulped mine down, too. We had eaten a fine little lunch delivered by Meals On Wheels, so I knew she wasn’t hungry. I scooped myself another bowl full and put it on top of the refrigerator, where I keep items I want to protect from her. By the time I ate it, the ice cream was soft and yummy.

Later, I made it to my appointment with the family attorney. I had arranged the meeting weeks earlier, to update our documents and seek guidance. Our lawyer is also certified in elder affairs and has several aging clients. I reviewed our situation and came away with the name of a funeral home I need to go to to make pre-arrangements and information on a placement home a few miles from our house. It’s run by a couple and has only six or seven residents. I think everyone should be required to carry long-term care insurance from an early age. –LG

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