Phone Bill & a Philosophical Moment

I paid mom’s apartment phone bill last week. The bill gives a detailed listing of all the calls she makes each month. When mom first moved to AL, she made upwards of 20 calls a month. This last bill detailed the one call she made in late May. It was to my cell phone (a continuing miracle). That’s it.

It seems natural for her to reach outward when first making such a profound move. 17 months later, making one call in a month seems like an expected trajectory in her communication, given the nature of her disease.

There’s a part of me that wonders if mom would have ‘kept if touch’ with people if she were still living independently. Then I reflect on mom’s inability to use her answering machine (she would forget to check it, or turn it off) and the frequent email mixups. She would stumble into her ‘sent mail box’ thinking all of her sent mail hadn’t  actually left her email world. She’d forward everything again, with a tech-impaired explanation, which would cause a flood of response from folks saything they’d received her origional note. Then mom would call me for an explaination for this cyber-mystery.

She still hasn’t asked for a computer, or her email. She’s referred to it, saying it’s on the Island, like email isn’t transportable. She used her email at our home many years ago, but this is long forgotten. She also tells me from time-to-time, but not for some time, that she ‘picked up a message off the answering machine” which doesn’t exist at her AL apartment. I knew it would be a source of frustration for her, so why add it to the mix? It’s something she’s been saying for decades. Why stop now?

Wondering is pointless. We are here now. The potential outcomes that did not happen as mom stepped over the line from independence to care is something to truly be thankful for. No one died. Mom was not severely, much less permanently, injured, nor was her estate compromised due to her negligence. While she puts on a good show about ‘nothing much to do’ the very fact that she’s safe and sound is all that matters. What she might or might not be doing were she still living on her own should never enter my head again. Ever. Reach out and smack me if I back-slide.

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