Grocery Freedom

Grocery bags 2017-10-11 07.48.28
Getting ready for grocery shopping

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got up the nerve to tell Mom that she wouldn’t be going grocery shopping with us anymore.

“Mom, you’re not going to the store with us anymore.”

“You’re not taking me?”

“No, Mom. It’s too hard for me when you go.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“It doesn’t matter if you believe it, you still won’t be going.”

“Well, thanks for nothing.”

“You’re welcome.”


This past Sunday, as she was having her lunch, she asked about grocery shopping.

“Y’all are going to the grocery store this afternoon?”

“Yes, we are.”

“But you’re not going to let me go with you, are you?”

“No, we’re not.”

“You’re mean.”

“Yes, I am.”


Later, when it was time to go:

“Mom, Vickie and I are going to the grocery, now.”

“You and Vickie?! No, take Steve and leave Vickie here. When Steve is here, he won’t stay in the house. He keeps going in and out the door, into the yard.”

“Vickie is going with me, Mom. You’ll be fine.”

“Well, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”


It was the most relaxing Sunday I’ve had in the past two years.





“…but I hit my butt!”

Depends box 20170815_070423
Where we’ve been putting the case of Tranquility briefs

I stayed up too late reading last night. I had hoped lie down again for a few minutes after getting Mother settled with her meds and coffee. Instead, after letting the dogs out, I hear her muffled voice calling my name. I open her bedroom door to find her sitting on the floor beside her bed, her walker just out of reach, a package of briefs balanced across the attached basket.


“I was getting my Depends out of the closet and fell down. I didn’t hit my head, but I hit my butt! Can you help me up?”

I bend her knees up a little bit, hoping she might be able to get her feet under herself a little easier, but her knees don’t bend that much and she was no help to me trying to pull her up by holding under her one arm I could reach. I’d need help.

I wake Vickie. Thank goodness she’s back. If this had happened with Mom last week, all I could have done was call 911 for the firemen to come pick her up.

With one of us on each side, we’re able to pull her upright, and while I’m trying to get her balanced on her feet, I realize she’s shifting her weight in order to sit down on the bed. I move aside and she plops on the edge of the bed to rest a moment after her ordeal. I take the package of briefs into the bathroom and refill the drawer. Vickie stands beside her a moment, and then heads back to her room to try to get some more sleep.

Mom positions her walker, stands up, and moves toward the bathroom. I go back to the kitchen to get her meds and coffee ready, and add two items to today’s mental to-do list: call her nurse at PACE to let him know about her fall, and swap out the remaining briefs packages on the closet floor with all the Bingo prizes on her dresser.

Dresser o' bingo prizes 20170815_070436
Dresser O’ Bingo Prizes

Evening Walk

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My niece, Vickie, has been with us for several weeks, and her presence has made such a difference. She has taken over after-supper clean-up and Mom’s laundry, and she’s here in the afternoon to meet Mom’s van so I don’t have to leave work early every day.

My employers have been very flexible and understanding with my schedule, but it was still very hard juggling everything. Trying to complete my work day from home was nearly impossible with Mom always forgetting or never really understanding that I was still “on the clock” and calling from the other room just to ask me random questions or tell me what the wind speed was in a town 30 miles away from us.

Thursday evening, I pulled out Mom’s white board and wrote:

Vickie and I are going for a walk. We will be gone about an hour.

Mom carefully read the message and looked a little alarmed.

“You’re going to go for a walk for an hour?”

I nodded. Her brow furrowed.

“That’s a long walk! Y’all be careful.”

I nodded again, we set out, and I carefully locked the front door behind us, as Steve was in the back of the house watching TV.

It was a very nice walk. The little downtown area was lively. There were so many beautiful cloud formations. Vickie and I got to talk without interruptions. We got our heart rates up!

We were gone for about 40 minutes. The door was unlocked when we got back, which meant that Mom had, at least once, gotten up to look out the door for us. Or maybe she just didn’t want us to be locked out.