My Mom is home from her extended health vacation. She is happy to be home, but with being home comes all the things about being home. You know… cooking, laundry, housekeeping, organizing.
I am happily helping with the first three. I cook up lots of things, like American Chop Suey (with ground turkey) or baked chicken or fish with rice or potatoes and nice vegetables (my Nana always called vegetables “nice”… like, “Have some nice peas.” I still love this memory of my Nana!). I bring my Mom meals every day, and I’ve been delivering Coffee Cabinets from our local Newport Creamery. My Mom is not a huge dessert eater, but oh! has she been enjoying those Coffee Cabinets (for you non-Rhode Islanders, a Coffee Cabinet is heaps of coffee ice cream, coffee syrup and milk. Yum. And enough calories to get my Mom up and plumped a little!).
I’ve been the laundry lassie, too (remember the specific directions for washing delicates? Yep. My Mom gives the best laundry directions!). And my Mom is the master (or mistress?) of cleaning, but I help, and she has an agency helping, until she is feeling better. The same agency is also sending nursing care, which is very important to her physical and emotional recovery after such an extended health issue.
So on to the organizing. We all have our little organizing tricks that make our lives easier, and one person’s organization is unlike anyone else’s. Yes? My Mom is Mrs. Organization. My Mom does not like anything out that does not belong out… like mail or dishes or random bags of stuff. And it is a seemingly random bag of stuff that got us both in a big bag-‘o-difficulty with a misplaced hearing aid.
Since my Mom has been ill, I have been changing her hearing aid batteries and filters. No small task, by the way. The batteries are the size of microscopic organisms and the filters are smaller still. To make this easier for me, I have been keeping all of my Mom’s hearing aid things in the box they came in, and I keep this box in the sturdy white bag that the box of things came in. Follow me? Well, that sturdy bag finally ripped from all the carrying around the hospital and rehab center and back home. So I told my Mom that I was putting the box in another bag… a sturdy plastic bag… and that we would keep that bag next to her kitchen table… where I would always know where it is.
On Thursday morning, I called my Mom and she could hardly hear me over the phone. She was saying, “I lost my hearing aid.” Well that, folks, is alarming. Her hearing aids are her window to the world… and she needs both of them for optimum proficiency. She was saying, “I looked everywhere. I was on my knees under my bed…” I’m thinking, “OH, NO!” She is supposed to be resting and recuperating…
I immediately headed to her apartment. She had all but taken the sheets from her bed. Her pocketbook was emptied on her kitchen table. She had gone through her waste basket and every shred of paper. She was visibly nervous and upset. I looked around. I was calm on the outside but not so on the inside. I know she has insurance for these hearing aids, but the process of getting new ones is lengthy. I stayed positive and methodical. OK. Where did you last have it? Where have you looked (other than the obvious)? “OH, MOM… WHERE IS THE BAG WITH THE BOX OF HEARING AID THINGS?”
My Mom had been organizing. She can’t help it. This is what she does. But she is not feeling 100%, and she forgot that the plastic bag with the box that I wanted near the kitchen table is the bag with her hearing aid things. She saw it as a random bag… but only after she had, quite efficiently, taken out one of her hearing aids and put it inside the hearing aid box inside the bag.
“AH. MOM… WHERE DID YOU PUT THE BAG OF HEARING AID THINGS?”
“In my bedroom. Out of the way,” she answered. Of course. My Mom is the organizer. She can’t help it.
OK. I found the bag. With the box. With her “lost” hearing aid inside the box.
Moral of this story: Always look for something where the most organized person would put it.