Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Please Dial 411...Not 911.

What, exactly, is the process of grieving?  Is anger a part of it? Am I a Rotten Caretaker if I get miffed?

My mother ran low on one of her (nonessential) medications today and made a dozen calls trying to track me down at work. She's already left me so many messages my voicemail hit its limit and refused to accept any additional messages. Today, she hit "0" for Operator so many times, she wound up at the receptionist desk for my regional office. Headquarters.  HQ.  The location of the Head Honchos...the Grand Fromages.

So I conclude a meeting this afternoon, look at my email and see an emergency message from the main office.  "Call your mother - Emergency. She's at home."

My hands are shaking as I dial the phone. Dear God - did something happen to my dad?  Is mom bleeding? Did a cat run out the front door and into the street?

"Mom, it's Jill.  What's wrong?"

"I have it. It's all OK now, I got it taken care of."


"Well, I made the phone call and got the information, the area code, it's OK. It's OK."

"Mother!  Speak to me clearly. What's wrong? Are you hurt? Are you bleeding?"

"I am going to run out of medication tomorrow and I needed your area code."

Yup, that's right. She needed my area code and was transferred 10 10 different company employees... in an effort to track me down, so she could get what she wanted, when she wanted it.

I have now set Boundaries. I have reiterated that she is only to call me at work during emergencies. 

And here I sit, shaking my head...realizing in this moment that to Mom, this was an emergency.