Thursday, April 26, 2007

Play by play

12:15 a.m. – The police call Ben from G.'s hometown. The drama begins.


Ben decides to go to New Jersey without any definite plan other than hoping to convince his mother to move into assisted living in either Boston or N.J. He does some errands, gets time off from work and starts the five-hour drive in the late afternoon.

8 p.m. – G. calls the house, again wanting to talk to Ben about the car. I tell her Ben is on his way to N.J. and would see her the next day. She tries (coherently and in a normal tone of voice) to get into the issue again, but I don't get into that conversation, partly because I'm in the middle of putting the kids to bed. But only partly. One thing she said was prescient: she noted, quite accurately, that her situation was untenable. It's true – she's living in a town where a car is necessary, yet she has access to a ride only three hours every weekday. She's thinking the situation has to be resolved by her getting her car back, while I'm thinking she needs to move to a place where she doesn't need a car, i.e., assisted living. I comment that it would be good for her to be in a "community of people" and she agrees, but we both have completely different ideas of what that phrase means.

9 p.m. – Ben arrives at his father's house to spend the night.


8 a.m. – G. calls the house again (see above). She has no memory of being told by Ben and then me that he is on his way to see her. She wants to discuss car situation, naturally. Again I blow her off because she has again exercised her talent for calling at exactly the wrong time. In this case I'm running out the door to take the kids to their respective schools and then get to work.

10 a.m. – Ben's cousin (G.'s nephew), who lives in the same town as G., calls to ask about Ben's whereabouts. It seems G. had called him and said she thought Ben had arrived at her house late last night and left early in the morning before she woke up, but that he had taken her car with him. For the record, Ben arranged to have the car removed some weeks ago, and he has not yet been to her house today.

11:30 a.m. – Ben, who is driving from his father's place to his mother's, uses his cell phone to call our house and pick up messages. Turns out the police in G.'s town had called our house this morning to report that G. had again been making 911 calls about her missing car. Ben called back the officer, who was very understanding. But of course this can't go on. Ben subsequently calls B's therapist to have her meet him at G's house rather than her office, so there would be no question of G. refusing to see her. He tells me he will call after the noon meeting.

1:30 p.m. – Ben calls to report that somehow or other, they got G. to agree to come back to Boston with him and "try" an assisted living place in our area that was recommended to us by someone in the field and which, incredibly, has an opening. He is somewhat breathless because he is trying to "strike while the iron is hot" and hustle her into the car toute de suite.

2:30 p.m. – Ben calls from the road, asking me to hold dinner for the three of us, to remind the kids not to talk about Bubbie's brain melting while in her presence (a distinct possibility for 5- and 6-year-olds), and to pick up some underwear for his mother since they apparently left in some haste. They will arrive at our house around 8:00 and he will take her to "the place" tomorrow. I still don't know the details of how he convinced her or on what terms.

3:00 – In between work crises (including a very senior person's abrupt termination, which has made everyone's head explode), I quickly start trolling web sites of area stores to see which, if any, carry 100% cotton Spanky Pants for the over-80 set.

To be continued...

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