I dropped Mom off at her house this morning and went inside to retrieve an envelope containing her new debit cards. I had intentionally left them there because they need to be activated from her home phone and I didn't want to risk losing them. (In case you haven't been keeping track, I lose a lot of stuff).
I couldn't find them and asked Mom if she knew where they were and she uttered the words I don't often hear from her, "I think I might have thrown them away."
Understand, this is a woman who saves every scrap of paper along with plastic bags, aluminum foil, butcher paper, twist-ties, newspapers, magazines and soap slivers.
"Are you sure?" I asked incredulously.
"I thought they were just some kind of advertisement." A logical explanation, I must admit.
I removed the garbage can from under the sink. It wouldn't have been bad except for the coffee grounds.
They weren't in there. And I am SO not going to the dumpster.
"Don't worry," I said cheerfully. "I'll call the bank and have them send new ones." There was no point in making a big deal about it. This problem could be solved relatively painlessly. My pleasant attitude hit a minor bump when I learned that the bank was going to charge $5.00 and I quickly ended the call before I said something I'd regret.
Mom was waiting outside for me when I picked her up at our usual time. As she got in the car, she said to me, "You know, we are two DUMB women." Not exactly the greeting I expected, but she continued, "When you brought me back here, the door was locked."
I don't usually lock up when we are going on an errand but out of habit, I must have locked it as we were leaving.
It gets worse.
I instantly remember the point as she was getting out of the car when I looked at her purse lying in the back seat and saying to her, "You don't need your purse, do you?"
She eyed it longingly and replied, "I guess not. It's only going to be a couple hours."
I need to tell you here, my mom and her "pocketbook" are seldom separated. She needs her purse and her purse needs her. I understand that. Whatever possessed me to tamper with the handbag laws of the universe.This could have been bad. Really bad.
"So, what did you do?" I ask, knowing that the spare door key from the garage is missing and assumed to be in Zac's possession.
"Well, the guest entry door was open."
While I am thankful, I am also wondering why it was not locked, as I clearly remember locking it sometime back and the door is never (or so I thought) used.
I thought of all the things I usually do--like make sure Mom has her purse and cane, wait until she's in the door before leaving. Things expected of a a responsible, attentive, conscientious caregiver.
And as if I wasn't feeling ashamed and inadequate enough, here were the words that struck terror to my very core, "If that ever happens again, do you think I can see good enough to drive my car to Huntley?"