Just Be Nice

I went to visit my mother today at the Care Center. She, and many other residents, were  just leaving church service when I arrived. When mom saw me she said she was surprised that I showed up today. I visit my mother several times a week, as my schedule permits,  but Thursday is the day I have scheduled to visit mom. She always forgets and gets very excited when she sees me because she thinks I just popped in to surprise her so I let her think that…

It was approaching lunchtime and mom wanted me to push her to the dining room and sit with her until they open the doors. While we were waiting for the dining room to open for service mom told me her tablemate, Joan, was down in bed because she hurt her back. Mom didn’t know how Joan hurt her back but said Joan had been down in bed for several days.

When the dining room doors opened, I pushed mom to her table and helped her with her bib and read the menu choices for lunch. Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, veggies, and watermelon for desert. Or, chicken wrap with potato salad.  Mom decided she would have the chicken wrap and seemed pleased with her selection. Just as mom was all settled in and ready to give the server her lunch choice, Joan arrived at the table. Mom looked at Joan and said I didn’t think you were going to come for lunch today because you didn’t come to church service. Joan said she has been up out of bed, but can’t sit for long periods of time so she thought she would skip church service and just come to lunch. Joan also decided to have the chicken wrap and potato salad.

The dining room staff came and served tomato soup to the residents. While mom and Joan were eating their soup, Robert, and nice, elderly man, who comes everyday to visit his sister who is a resident at the care center, walked by mom and Joan’s table. Robert plays bingo with mom and Joan everyday and mom thinks they should ask Robert to join them for lunch at their table because Robert’s sister can’t talk and is not much company for Robert… As Robert was walking by the table, mom told Joan “there is our friend.” Joan got very upset and said “yes, Virginia, I have eyes, and I can see, that is Robert, but we have your daughter, Cindy, here with us today so we don’t need to have Robert here as well.” Mom didn’t say anything back to Joan but I could see she was upset.

When the chicken wraps arrived mom took a bite of hers and said it was good.

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Then mom asked the server what kind of potatoes were in the wrap. Joan spoke up and said “the chicken wraps don’t have potatoes in them, they just have chicken, lettuce, and cheese, the potatoes are in the potato salad.” Then Joan asked mom what she thought was in the chicken wraps? Mom snapped back with “CATS, ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.”

I sat there listening to mom and Joan belittle each other… until finally I just had enough of it all and I looked at both of them and said “Can’t you just be nice?” 

Joan didn’t say anything to me at the time. Mom took another bite or two of her wrap and said she was ready to go and asked me to push her to her room. As I was taking mom’s bib off and backing her wheelchair away from the table, Joan said “I love having Cindy at our table, it really helps.” I smiled and said “thank-you, I think.”

I pushed mom back to her room and was surprised that she didn’t say anything to me about the incident at the lunch table. I stayed with mom for a bit longer, mostly watching her sit with her back to me looking out her door and down the hall while I sat on her bed. After a while I told her I had to go, gave her a hug, told her I would see her next week, and left.

As I was walking out of the Care Center I passed the dining room and saw Robert siting at Joan’s table, in mom’s place, laughing and talking with Joan…. Go figure!!!

Stay Tuned!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Sep 19, 2014 @ 00:46:09

    Your stories make me laugh and cry at the same time…love you dearly…

    Reply

  2. katsbynp
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 01:32:31

    What a story! Never a dull moment when you visit your Mom! Thanks for sharing..
    Love you

    Reply

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