The New Normal

I’m sitting in my mother’s kitchen with her.

She calls a friend to make dinner plans for us tonight.  The friend is available!  We’ll see her tonight.

She is trying to make another phone call.  She has forgotten all of the phone numbers she knew by heart.  I look up the number she wants to call and read it to her.  She is confused about the message she hears when the call connects.

“Who the heck is that?!?”

She has dialed the number incorrectly.  I read the number to her again.  (She says she couldn’t read her handwriting.)  And this time she is unable to reach who she’s calling.

I want to keep her busy today.  Get out of the house and do something.

I want to get my mother a Mother’s Day gift while I’m in town.

“Mom, do you remember where you used to get your car detailed?”

“I’ve never done that before,” she responds.  (Gift certificates for this used to be the perfect gift for her.)

We leave to run errands.  I need to get fuel, get my car washed and go to Verizon to upgrade her phone.

We start to drive to get the gas.  I put the destination in the GPS program on my phone.  It gives me directions to the store only about 10 minutes away.  Our route includes some road work.

“Get over here, if you can.”

“Mom, I can’t.  The construction won’t let me.”

“OK.  It would be much faster that way,” she says.

I continue to drive the route my app suggests.

“I’ve never been here before,” she says.  We are still in the small town she lives in.

“I’m just going to follow the directions it’s giving me,” I say.

“OK. Fine,” she says, displeased.

We get the gas, and despite the Verizon store being only 5 minutes away, we must get the car washed first (she says).  We go to the car wash.  I order my wash.  We go inside to pay.  I ask the girl if I can buy her some coupons/gift certificates.  We talk about what to purchase.

In the middle of the conversation the young girl says, “I live next door to you.”

Mom says, “Oh!  I thought you looked familiar!  You look just like your dad!”  She whispered to me, “Ask her what her name is.”

We finish in the car wash, return to the very store where we purchased the gas, go in, get what she needs, then go to Chick-Fil-A – the same one we always go to.

“Hey, mom.  Wanna go to Chick-Fil-A?”

“Sure.  I’ve never been there, but I’ll try it,” she says.

I can’t even begin to explain or recount the time we spent at Verizon.  We had to write numbers down for her to understand how much she would pay.  She kept thinking that her bill was going to go down…?..  It probably took her a good three or four minutes quietly thinking things through in her head before she decided to continue with the purchase, only for them to tell her the phone she wanted wasn’t in stock.  ARGH!


This is a short, 2 hour glimpse into a part of our day today.

This is the new normal.