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August, 2014: 8 10

8/8/14-Fri.-Drove up to Woodway, TX, today for another visit with my mom. No crises, but an enervating day. Mom and I had lunch, partly supplemented by vittles from Bush's Chicken. This afternoon I was the chauffeur as a number of errands were run. Meanwhile, the heat was intense. Once home, Mom's AC system was not able to lower the temperature to a comfortable level. She made us a chicken salad for supper, mixing it with her hands, and said another relative of ours had picked this chicken off the bone by hand as well. I recalled previous occasions when much handled food at her place had been left without refrigeration, and I had became very ill afterward. Hoping for a different outcome this time.

8/10/14-Sun.-Winding up my visit with Mom. It's been interesting. She is insecure over and a little obsessed with her welfare and health in these waning years. She also tries to control her relations with codependent behaviors, money, and/or reversible offers of rank, attention, or privilege. Starting in 1972, when they first achieved millionaire status, my mom and dad made a big deal of naming me in their will as the estate executor and their administrator, trustee, and power of attorney, in the event they became no longer competent. At that time, I was 28 years of age. My oldest of seven siblings was 20 and still in college.

Awhile after Dad died, in 1995, the will and related documents were updated. My brother Horace, by now her financial consultant, was made Mom's trustee. I was still named as having the other roles. My siblings having now all come into their own as mature adults and Mom's age-related vulnerabilities having increased, she has increasingly sought to get others' greater allegiance by mentioning to various ones giving them some or all of the potential status-enhancement of being her executor or administrator. Now, in fact, my brothers Horace and Ernie have been named in the will as co-alternates to me, in case I am no longer able or desirous of having those duties. And she is talking this weekend about maybe also letting Horace be officially designated to sell her house when/if she is ready or needs to move out of it.

I'd actually just as soon Horace and/or Ernie handle such matters if they wish, which they appear to, since Mom seems inclined to make this switch too, apparently hoping for more loyalty to her needs and concerns by them. My own commitment to her care as she ages is by now taken for granted.

There was a time I felt it appropriate to defend against encroachment my "proper" duties and rights as the eldest. These days it seems, instead, a tribute hardly worthy of added stress. If it means a lot to others that they have such honors instead, and Mom wants such a change, so be it.

Mom and I took her best friend, Alexis, out for lunch yesterday. She is more and more affected by Alzheimer's and, whereas till now she's been a fun acquaintance to spend time with, even retaining a good sense of humor, now she is mainly confused and distressed. For instance, when we had gone to eat at Cracker Barrel and Alexis went to the restroom, she evidently could no longer remember what had just occurred and so tried to do her business, use the toilet paper, and re-flush about 25 times in succession, staying in there nearly half an hour before my mom went in to check on or help her. A sad situation.

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