The phone rang. A call from Florida. My stomach dropped a little.
Sure enough, Mom was sick again.
So I hopped on a plane to south Florida, bracing for another chapter in my mother’s decline, and another attempt to convince her to go into assisted living.
“No,” was her consistent answer. “I can make it on my own. When the time is right, I will know.”
This was early 2014, and Mom’s fiercely independent nature had come to work against her. She was 83 and living alone, my father having died four years earlier, and she had a list of ailments and medications as long as your arm: diabetes, heart palpitations, intestinal troubles, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, a little stroke here and there.
“I’m not an invalid,” she insisted.
Over time, though, I found an ace to play. Instead of urging her into a facility in Florida, I said I had found a place in Alpharetta. It was clean and the people were nice. The best part, I said, was that she’d be close to me. We would see each other every week. Anything she needed, I would provide. We’d eat out together at restaurants, watch movies, and go to garage sales.
She pondered it.
“OK,” she said. “I’ll try it. But if I don’t like it I’m coming home.”
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