Monday, April 07, 2008

Just Blame Me

Ever feel like you got away from a client by the skin of your teeth.

I am helping a family move their mother from her home in Toledo,OH to an assisted living home in Pittsburgh, PA. "Mary," her son "Bob" and I met a couple weeks ago to discuss the details for this project - what was to stay and be packed. We also met with a moving company to coordinate the delivery of Mary's furniture and personal belongings.

Mary's daughter, "Nancy," flew in from Colorado to work with me on getting her mom's home packed up and ready for the move. Based on conversations I had with Nancy, I was prepared for some friction with her mom.

Friction was hardly the case.
More like an explosion!

Mary had far too many clothes, pictures, home decor and furniture for her new home. Paring down what she had and what she needed was difficult. Early into the day, I told Nancy to let me take all the heat for what we were about do to. Figuring, I would be away from her mom much sooner than her.

Well, Mary was getting pretty ticked off (even swearing at me) for getting her to sort through her clothes, handbags, kick knacks and papers. The last straw of the day was blown when Nancy and I packed up some kitchen decor while Mary rested in her bedroom. Mary came into the kitchen and just lost it - yelling at both of us, demanding we unpack her items.

As Mary went to unpack the boxes, I piped up, "NO!"
(I felt like I just yelled at a puppy)
"You're not in charge," Mary yelled back.
Very calm and firmly stated, "Well, in fact, yes I am. I am here to help move you into your new home. The boxes that are packed will remain that way," as I slid a big, heavy box in front of the closet door.

I went on to explain that my concern is that Mary's new home is not overcrowded with items, furniture and clothing. Mary's wishes were to be honored as best as possible. Nancy nodded and signed a bit of relief, thanking me a bit later for taking the heat from her mom.

Moving is quite difficult under the best circumstances. Many families like Mary's face the daunting task of moving their parent to an assisted living facility. Emotions run extremely high and buttons are pushed on both sides. In the end, the parent will be in a much safer enviroment and the children will have peace of mind knowing mom/dad is cared for in their absence.

As emotionally difficult as this is becoming, it is rewarding knowing I am helping a family with their mother and getting her into a wonderful new home.

How have you taken the blame for someone?


Anonymous said...

Now, isn't the bra shopping sounding better all the time?!?

Way to go, Ang. I don't think I could have done what you did today. I bet you'd be a good match for my mom -- if we ever get her to move out of her big house! ;)

Angie Weid said...

OK, yes, bra shopping sounds fantabulous after today.

SOUL said...

does the word "scapegoat" ring a bell ??

by the way , KUDOS to YOU-- that was really great what you did-- that was way beyond the call of duty for you. :))

happy tuesday!

Louise Kahle said...

We're going through this with my mom-in-law. We wanted to get her apartment cleaned while Dad was in a nursing home and had finally stopped smoking. Before we could ever ask someone to come in and clean, we had to get rid of the junk laying around. Papers, mail, brochures from doctors that they had hung on to for years, 3 bottles of cider vinegar, 2 which expired years ago and much more. She was not there when we (me, her daughter and niece)did it but she was angry for awhile.
Now it looks like Mom will be moving to the nursing home with Dad soon and it should be loads of fun when it is time to pack up!
Oh yeah, they both have Alzheimers!