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melting but not down

Monday, 3 August 2009

tether, end of

I got home from Mum's at 3.30 this morning. I tried a glass of brandy and rooting around on eBay to tire me out but I lasted about five minutes in bed before I was up again, weary but restless. This is my Sunday/Monday story....

Sunday morning, mum rings. She can't get her gas fire to come on and is worried that she'll have no hot water. I try to tell her that she doesn't need the fire on - its a lovely warm sunny day and that it has nothing to do with heating the water, the central heating does that. She is clearly angling for me to go over. I explain I can't, we're going out for lunch with friends, I'll see her on Monday. She says she can't hear me. She rings again, same old, same old. She rings again, she can't get the central heating to work. I tell her to look at the instructions I left her or ask a neighbour to help. She puts the phone down on me. That was the short version.

We go out to celebrate our friends' wedding anniversary. We return home late afternoon before going to the festival. The phone rings several times but no message is left on the answerphone. I do not answer, fearing more emotional blackmail.

We return from the festival at around 11pm. (The Proclaimers and the finale fireworks were awesome!) The phone rings. Its mum. She says she has been burgled. Oh the guilt. I go over with beloved son. She says she went to ask a neighbour to help with the central heating but did not lock the kitchen door behind her. When she came back, her wedding and engagement rings had gone and the keys to the house and garage. I am dubious, she does not seem quite as upset as I would have expected but a search does not find the missing items. I ask her where her purse is and check its usual resting place. It is not there. She says the burglar must have taken it. I phone the bank to cancel the visa card. The bank tells me that the pin has already been blocked, it looks as though someone has tried to use the card with an incorrect pin number, a stoke of luck given that mum has the pin number written on a piece of card in her purse. Yes, I know. Anyway, the bank cancels the card.

I phone the police and the locksmith. Before they arrive I dash home to get my bank card to pay the locksmith and collect BS's delightful new girlfriend. She tells me that BS has told her they will both stay with my mum overnight as the burglary has unsettled her. A huge relief as I thought I was going to have to do it. Mr Lily gives me £300 cash to save using my card. Meanwhile BS is trying to persuade mum that moving to the flat near me is a good idea. Arrive back at mum's to find a policeman already there. Gave him the details and agreed to arrange a proper statement interview later in the week, also a visit from the crime prevention unit. The locksmith arrives and fits new locks to the front, kitchen and lounge doors and fixes a padlock on the garage. The bill comes to £315.10.

I ask mum for the £300 I'd handed to her 20 minutes earlier. While she is looking for it, I give the locksmith £15.10. Mum is searching the house for the cash. We all help. Nowhere to be found. Where do you think you might have put it? we ask. Under the pillow, she replies. We look under the pillow. We do not find the £300. We do find her purse, complete with its original cash contents and bank card and house keys. She says she took her purse with her when she went to the neighbours but doesn't remember putting it under the pillow. I don't think you've been burgled, I tell her, trying to explain why. She is confused. I continue looking for the £300. I move some tissues on her bedside trolley. Underneath are her rings. I take them to her and lead her back to where I found them. She pleads ignorance. I tell her she definitely hasn't been burgled. I am beginning to wonder whether it has all been staged.

The £300 is still missing. I pay the locksmith with my bank card. He gives me my £15.10 back. I am slightly hysterical. For a few moments it seems hilariously funny that mum's non-existent burglary has resulted in an unnecessary 999 call and multiple lock changing. Slightly less amusing is the fact that Mr Lily and I have now paid £615.10 for a total waste of time and effort. Mum is fixating on paying me back Mr Lily's £300 using the money from her purse, about half the amount. It is 3am. I tell her we'll sort it out tomorrow. I don't fancy my chances explaining about the money, I get the feeling that if she finds the £300 cash and returns it, she will think she has cleared the debt. Ah well. Easy come, easy go.

Its 9 minutes past 5. Sigh. I'm beginning to think frog-marching mum to a retirement home is the only sensible option.

Well, I went back to bed, told the long-suffering Mr Lily the sorry tale. Then I was wide awake. So here I am again. Its 10 to 6. Uuurrgh


Clippy Mat said...

oh no, that's unbelievable. you must be exhausted not to mention frustrated beyond belief. obviously her short term memory is completely buggered poor thing. she is not doing a great job of living alone anymore is she? would she have support in the retirement home, is it like sheltered housing, or 24 hr support?
i wonder what happened to the 300 pounds and her visa card??
i hope you get some rest today and are able to help her understand that her safety is your main concern and that she needs something more than you can give because you can't do this 24 hrs a day. (does she have a home help, I can't remember?)
fingers crossed that she will see this.
take care,

Granny on the Web said...

Lily dear
I can't help laughing at this post, it so typifies how ageing/going on senile people are. I do however feel sorry you are on the receiving end of the blunt instrument!
I have nominated this post for 'post of the week award'

Love Granny

rilera said...

Yes, it's time to get her to move. Do you think BS would be on your side and help persuade her?

Emily said...

Frog-march her!! Do it! Jeepers. This was expensive.

Any chance of a home aide person? I know that's probably expensive. Does your mom have money of her own? (Not changing my opinion, just looking for instant relief for you.)

On the other hand, congratulations for not picking up the phone and wrecking your day earlier. You have an answering machine; she can leave a message.

Don't feel guilt over possible burglary; you're not the one who left the door open (if, indeed, it was left open). Jeepers again.

RNSANE said...

I am here after reading Eddie Bluelight's roadt of "Granny on the Web." You have all my sympathy and empathy. I am a retired nurse living in the San Francisco area. My 85-year-old mother lives alone in Columbus, GA, some 2500 miles from me. She is legally blind and has beginning Alzheimer's. My brother
( who lives in FL and rarely visits because his job requires constant travel ) and I would like her to go into assisted living but she won't. She has lived in her little duplex for fifteen years and can get around pretty well here. She fixes t.v. dinners for her meals. My concern is that she no longer sees her doctor and has stopped all her medicines
( hypertension and lupus ). I've flown out three times in the last three months but, living on a very fixed retirement income now, I cannot afford to do this. I also have my own medical problems and cannot physically care for her myself - even if she would relocate to California which she won't.

I admire you and applaud you, also, for thinking of yourself first sometime which you MUST do!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Oh my goodness...I'm exhausted just reading this. What an amazing story - you poor dear!

I came over here from somewhere...now where was it? I think it was Granny on the Web whom I just met from an interview she did on Eddie Bluelight's blog. Anyway, she talked about you and I wanted to come over and Wow! This was a great blog post!

- Margaret