Tag Archives: Nashville

Placeholder: parent-sitting

Placeholder: n. an empty frame inserted into a document to hold space for text or graphics to come later.

It’s been hard to find the time to create posts this week because I have been out of town since Thursday, first visiting kids and grandkids in the Bay Area, and now taking care of my 94-year-old mom in Nashville. This is a top-of-my-head placeholder post till I have more time to think.

Mom lives with my sister and her husband (who along with hundreds of thousands other boomer couples caring for elderly parents deserve nomination into sainthood) and they wanted to take a vacation, just the two of them.  How could I say no?  

That said, Mom isn’t easy. She’s in robust health, but life with her is one continuous time loop. Like Ground Hog Day. “So… what are you doing these days?” she says, professing deep interest in my life. 

I tell her a couple of things, she nods with understanding, maybe even asks a followup question, then the conversation stops. Two minutes later, she says, “So… what are you doing these days?”

The first few go-rounds I give a straight-forward answer, but after the fifth or sixth time I begin embellishing, adding new characters, peculiar occupations, maybe jungle animals. She laughs, knowing (sort of) that I’m joking, but even so, she’ll ask again and again until I can finally steer the conversation on to an exciting new topic – like what we should fix for supper. 

Tomorrow morning we’ll go to a botanical garden she especially loves, as we do every time I come. We’ll get back and have lunch, and then she’ll say, “So… what are we going to do today????” 

I don’t know how Holly copes without throttling her.  Mom is too healthy and together to be “put into a home” but too discombobulated to be left alone. 

You could say she’s in a placeholder position too.