There are lots of stories online about taking an elderly parent's car keys away. This was no problem. She stopped driving a long time ago.
Today I have a sick feeling in my stomach. My chest is tight. If I didn't know what's causing this, I'd be taking myself to the emergency room. I breathe deeply and tell myself this will soon be over, I hope.
At mom's apartment, I don't say a thing about it. I think that she knows what I'm thinking, and what I'm doing. Despite her memory loss, I'm certain that she knows. We try to have a good time. We go do yoga together. Wow, she's good! Much better than how she makes out to be when we're talking on the phone. The class is 45 minutes, much quicker pace than my own yoga classes... This teacher goes from position/pose to position pose like somebody at a salad bar...but it's good! And mom's keeping up. About 30 minutes into the class, she wants to sit it out. That's fine. Then she joins back in for the last 10 minutes. Even I'm a bit out of breath in this class, with all elderly!!
After the yoga class, we go to her apartment. I sit in the armchair and brace myself. I take a deep breath and then just get to it. I tell her again what I need to do and that I'm doing it this afternoon. But I tell her that I'm discussing it with her because I want her support with this. We have a bit of a circular discussion again. But at this point I have no choice. I have to sell the car and it's getting later in the day.
I call Triple A to get the car started....It's freezing out and the car won't start. I knew that that would happen. The guy comes, tests the battery, tells me it's dead, charges it up, and I drive the car around for a while but I fear that the next morning I have to call again and I count on this. The battery is dead as a doorknob and it won't retain the charge. Each piece tells me THIS is why I'm selling the car. Each additional "trouble" each additional cost. Mom says it's easy to get a new battery and I know that but who's going to DO all that? Who's going to sit outside when it's 15 degrees waiting for the guy to come and to charge up the car? Any single thing is easy and doable. It's all of them together, and unpredictably, that is impossible to manage when she's not even driving the car, and hasn't driven it in years. She cries again that she's losing her independence. I know that it's no picnic getting older and losing abilities that one had. I think of this a lot.
BESIDES I LEARN THAT you only get five TRIPLE A roadside assistances per calendar year.
Is this for me or is this for her that I'm doing this?
In reality, it's better for her and for me. But some moms don't give up so easily. Then it's a fight. We feel guilty saying it's for ME.... But really it's for both of us. If I'm the one taking care of her, how can I feel guilty that this car is making me sick? If I'm sick, I'm also no good taking care of her. And my doctor is warning me. I HAVE BEEN WARNED. I have been warned twice.
Tomorrow I'll have to call Triple A again to have them come charge the battery. On the one hand I dread tomorrow. On the other hand I look forward to it. But either way,, tomorrow will happen and I will have to face what I have to do. I will have to face it - and do it.
And I'm trying to make it as easy on her as possible.