I’m weird

I have a small case of the weeps right now. Just a few little sprinkles. Nothing major at all. But they are tiny tears of major relief. I have been avoiding checking into this annuity contract that I needed to surrender to pay Mom’s June bill because I was afraid of what I might be told over the phone. But I got the assisted living bill yesterday, so I knew I needed to check into it today. I finally called this afternoon. The kind customer service voice resembled the kind voice I got the first time I called this particular company, the one that made things quite easy. I asked if I could check on the status of my surrender request, which I mailed in early May. Clickety click and…the check was mailed two days ago. And it’s for essentially the full amount – no silly little fees removed. This means I will actually have enough in Mom’s checking to cover July, too, until I settle this last annuity of Mom’s – with a company that initially did not seem to be making things easy. I am actually having little “I’m tough” fantasies about calling that company and telling them there has got to be something wrong (read: illegal) about their unwillingness to honor my power of attorney. Now I can wait a bit to muster up the strength to make that call.

So a financial victory can make me cry. Seems silly, really. I get very worked up about the money. Mom was lucky to have amassed as much money as she did, considering her general lack of planning or saving as an adult. So managing it has always seemed like a delicate task. I have only managed it by spending it all, so managing might not be the right word. I feel protective of her small nest egg, is all.

I stopped in to see her today after a lunch outing. “Hallelujah,” she said when I walked through the door to the lobby, where she was sitting with some friends. “I thought I’d never see you again.” She has become accustomed to saying that even though I am making more frequent visits. She had just finished lunch. She was not wearing the outfit I put out for her on Tuesday before her shower. I found that outfit, blue pants, a blue T-shirt and a pink blouse, still sitting on her bathroom counter. Instead, she had on gray fleece (too hot for this weather!) pants and a Buckeye football T-shirt with a denim blazer over that. We went to her apartment and I asked her if she wanted to change or if she liked what she was wearing. She wanted to keep on her current outfit. Fine with me. It looked OK. I said, “Ohio State football,” reading her T-shirt, and she said, “Oh, is that today?” I explained I was just reading her shirt. I also asked her if I could comb her hair. “Why, are we going somewhere?” No, I told her, I just think it would look better if I comb it. I actually think she needs another haircut already.

I fed the cat some new canned food. Mom asked me repeatedly how my new cat is. I told her I have two dogs, and they’re not new. I showed her a picture of them. “But how about the cat?” she said. I told her I don’t have any cats. She seemed surprised. She said her cat has been doing well. I worried over him a little bit and combed him. I checked the litter, which showed no signs of his use. A visit to the vet is a must next week.

As I was leaving, I asked Mom if she wanted to walk me to the door or stay in the apartment and lie down. “I think I’ll stay,” she said. And then she walked out the door ahead of me, ready to accompany me to the lobby.

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