Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When Duty Calls

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

Duty calls.

My eighty-year-old spunky, active mother broke her ankle. The right one. Her driving ankle. While working in her garden.

Mom (widowed) still lives in the three-bedroom family ranch with full basement and a yard bordered by flowerbeds. I’m the closest distance-wise at 2 hours away. My sister is 3+. Until now, our mother hasn’t needed much help.

By the time you read this, I will have helped her through the weekend and taken her to the specialist to figure out if she will need surgery. I will have made meals and finished getting her garden ready for winter. Before I leave, I'll make sure she has frozen dinners and I'll do her wash. But I can't stay for the number of weeks it will take for that ankle to heal. I have my own family and a job (so does my sister).

Mom is an independent soul and probably she'll be just fine. But I'll worry and feel guilty and worry some more.

What now? What's next? How do I deal with my mother's future health issues from a distance?

p.s. Mom doesn't have wi-fi (sigh) so I'll be going to the local library each day to keep in touch.