Sunday, February 15, 2009

House Calls

Yesterday as we gathered around, sipping our wine and catching up, the topic of calling came up. The kind of calling a mother (or in my case, a daughter) does to check that her loved one is alive and well. My hubby's sister recently had a medical emergency caused by inhaling some stain repellent she was spraying. In addition to the residual health effects my sister-in-law is experiencing, hubby's mom (MIH) is also experiencing residual effects - shock and awe over almost losing her daughter. Since sis-in-law lives alone, MIH has been calling her several times a day to ensure she can breathe OK and that she is alright. Sis-in-law is finding it too much.

When MIH finished talking, my eldest daughter, who lives down the street in her own condo, piped up that if she died, no one would find her for 4 days. I was shocked that she said that and quickly replied with "of course I would!". She smiled at me and said no - she had calculated it. I don't phone her every day and even if I did, and didn't get an answer, I wouldn't worry anyway. There's some truth to that, and sometimes I think I don't worry enough. MIH would be over in a flash no matter the time or day. And her daughter isn't crazy about that.

My daughter on the other hand would probably love it. I tried to explain that it isn't that I don't care about her and her sister (who also lives on her own) ... I have just tried to give them their own space; I didn't want them to feel that I am in their faces; I don't want to be the one who when they see my number come up on call display, they roll their eyes and sigh before picking up the call.

But my daughter's comments gave me cause to pause, and rethink my approach. As I have said, I am not wired for worry, but I should be wired for concern and caring. And when you have loved ones who are on their own, it's a good thing to make regular house calls - rolling eyes or not!


  1. Hmm - I'm divided on this one. My Mum used to 'phone me ad infinitum, and if I wasn't around, the neighbours would be roped in to check I was OK! I've made a point of not doing the same thing to my kids. Anyway, these days there are text messages, which could do the job with far less hassle entailed, though probably my Mum would have been phoning me to aske how to work her mobile?!

  2. I hear you Jinksy! I still prefer to be more hands off - however it was ironic that my daughter felt a little overlooked I think. What we really need is a system so that we can make sure she is safe (me too) without interfering in one another's lives.


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