Coco stays!

My husband and I completed a lot of getting ready for Christmas today, including chili, sweet potato casserole, and some wirework gifts I wasn’t sure that I would get finished in time. Using his strong arm, my husband hammered his way through a pile of gifts while I cooked, and all is complete! I’m very pleased. Because of all this work, I didn’t make it out to Bickford today, and tried to call Mom just to say hi and that I couldn’t come today. She picked up, but then proceeded to fumble with the phone. At one point I could hear her muttering, so I hollered, “Mom! Mom!” Of course she didn’t hear me, and a silent open line was all I could hear. I groaned, knowing that Mom hadn’t hung up properly, and the line would be busy if I dialed back–yup, a busy signal. I called Bickford and asked someone to check the phone so I could call back. When I made the call, the same thing happened: the fumbling, the muttering, the empty open line…..I was screaming–mostly frustration–”Mom! MOM! MOM!! IT’S KATHY!” with no result except that my husband came upstairs to see what was the matter. As I hung up again I realized I had been listening to a recording of Mom fumbling with the phone, muttering, etc. Somehow the answering machine had been turned on. Haha! Life is full of fun!

When I finally reached her, she was very understanding about why I wouldn’t be there, but began talking about “him” and that “he” couldn’t stay in the room where you sleep anymore. “Are you talking about Dad or the dog?” I asked. Indeed it was the dog; Mom “knew” she was leaving, and she wondered what would happen to Coco because she (“he”) certainly couldn’t stay there anymore. “You aren’t going anywhere,” I told her, “and neither is the dog. You are both going to stay right there. It’s your home. And even if you weren’t there anymore, I will take Coco. She will live with me and I will take good care of her.” There was a silence as Mom took this in. “Well. Whew!” she said, greatly relieved.

I now wonder if she was thinking about her own death, and that she was concerned about Coco being left behind. I’ll never know, because I didn’t think to ask this. Anyway, she felt better, and I was glad I’d called to set her mind at ease. How many times does she worry about such things with no one to reassure her? It’s another little heartache: knowing I cannot prevent such worry.

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