Someone Grumpy And Mean To You?
It was 2016. My dad had passed away the year before. My mom was in the beginning stages of dementia before his death. After he died her mental state deteriorated exponentially. This was understandable, my dad was everything to her. She was sad, confused, and frightened which showed up in her behavior as defensiveness and anger. It was a complete turnaround for my normally kind and sweet mother. She would accuse me and the other people that cared for her of bizarre things. One day she phoned her younger sister who lives in California and told her, “Lisa put me in a hotel room and has her friends from Hawaii staying in my house.”
I’d been getting angry, upset phone calls from my mom for a couple of months already. I felt bad for her caregivers who looked after her everyday. They were patient and kind and seemed called to that work. This was the best personal care home that I could find. It was newly renovated, fresh and clean, with tons of natural light. Only five other seniors lived there. But it was not what my mom was used to. It was not her own home where she spent sixty-three years with my dad.
These phone calls from her came at least twice a day. I would do my best to try to soothe her upset, calm her down , and make her feel better, but I wasn’t very good at it. It’s hard to reason with someone who’s confused and has impaired reasoning abilities.
It was around the same time I completed my licensing education to become a real estate agent. My city’s real estate board holds a welcoming event for new Realtors every quarter so I decided to attend to see what I could learn and to enjoy the free breakfast.
We were seated four to a table. Like me, many people become real estate agents later in life and my tablemates were no exception. Two of the women were around my age and the other lady probably had ten years on us. Like most Realtors she was chatty and friendly. As she slid the cover from the sipping hole in her stainless steel travel mug, she started telling us about the barista that served her the coffee.
“No hello, no greeting of any kind. She just barked at me, ‘What do you want?’ And when I didn’t answer at that very instant she says, ‘There’s a line up behind you.’ and rolls…