Last week my Mother called me at about 9pm. She asked if my daughter was back from South Africa (as some of you know, she just spent three weeks there as a study abroad) and I replied that she was presently in flight somewhere between Cape Town and London. She asked me a few questions regarding my daughter’s experience blah blah blah.

She then proceeded to tell me the following:

Your father and I got into a fight today. He left the house at 4:30 with no money, no wallet, no phone, no medicine and no car keys. His parting words to her were “Have a nice life.”

Hmmm…

Talk about burying the lede…

I ask her if she’s checked the complex…she assures me she has…

I call the police, because in my mind, 83 year old guy with mobility issues, who falls at least once a week, a month ago that resulted in a broken shoulder is out without his medicine, has no money…you get the idea and my level of concern.

First thing the officer asks me is if he’s in the clubhouse of the development. I reply “No” because my Mother said she checked…

Of course the police go to look for him and he’s in the clubhouse playing cards with his buddies…

So now I feel like an idiot and I’ve sent the police on a meaningless search instead of allowing them to do their actual jobs…

I’ve been trying to help him keep his dignity as he’s navigated health issues the past year. Now that’s out the window…

My Mother told me that my Father is really mad at me- apparently I’m out of the will- and I can’t help but wonder if my Mother passive aggressively manipulated me into calling the police because she didn’t want my Father to be mad at her- that I was a good scapegoat…

I can’t decide if they are acting like toddlers, tweens or teens…

As I recounted the story to my friends, I told them that on a scale of 1-10, the angst of raising my daughter was a 1. The angst of raising my parents on the same scale is about 4,083.

When my daughter was born, people told me that parenting is a forever job. What they neglected to tell me was that when I stopped parenting my daughter I would begin parenting my parents…

102 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: The Police Saga

  1. Oh, LA, this is brutal behaviour from your parents. I’d say they’re acting more like spoiled brats than any one of the age categories you’ve listed. Sorry you’re having to endure this. Your father should be livid with his wife, not his daughter.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. We took care of my dad as he got older but he passed away in his late 70’s. He was willful and a bit spoiled by my mom but he lived nearby independently. Make friends with your parent’s neighbors and have someone to call next time. He passed away peacefully. My mom passed away first. Unfortunately, my brothers did not make a move to be there with my father, perhaps because of some misconceived slight. I think taking care of a parent as they get older, you understand them better. My father was a strong man but challenging for all of us. And somehow, I see myself and my brother mirrored in his way, small but significant. Wishing you the best.

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      1. I have the phone number of my dad’s best friend who lives a few blocks away. My dad is 90 and lives alone. Sometimes he doesn’t hear the phone. The friend and I have a pact that we’ll call each other if something doesn’t seem right. It’s been working for the past five years.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The problem is people are afraid to share these tough issues…while I don’t believe in the insta over share, we need to be real with one another so we are open to what could happen, and maybe help be another find solutions, or at least better ways of doing stuff

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      1. My father-in-law lived in an assisted living place before he died and you’d be surprised at all the gossip that went on around there!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My 86-year-old Dad has been…interesting…since Mom’s passed. He turned into a hoarder. He’s had/has a girlfriend that’s 31 with five children and still married but separated; is she a predator looking to takeover Dad’s property when he’s gone? She’s definitely ballsy. He loses everything important (glasses, keys, phone, wallet, etc.) and refuses to put things in a specific place so he can easily find them. (I’ve tried, but he’s a rebel because no one’s going to tell him how to do ANYTHING, by God!) He’s been in and out of the hospital numerous times. The list goes on and on. Raising my kids, one with autism and the other who is very ADHD, has been a breeze compared to dealing with Dad over the last five years. Dad’s the one who’s aged me. I love him dearly, but it’s difficult to keep up with his drama. I feel your pain! Mona

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    1. Definitely a predator. Ok I shouldn’t say definitely, but I would be wary. It’s just stuff you never expect to encounter…good luck with what you’re going through.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My heart goes out to you! You did the right thing by calling the police and I am sure they
    understand. Sorry about your parents, definitely hard stuff and there isn’t any manual to follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to laugh about it.,.eventually….😆….but it’s funny more because my parents been reasonably mature about things….I guess this is what they were like as children…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, it is hard. Their role as a parent was clearly defined when we were kids. That is what makes this transfer so hard. They get mad at me, but it really is not me. It is the loss is memory, mobility, vitality and sometime dignity that aging robs them ofZ

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow! I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. Sadly the parental roles do reverse. It’s not easy. I remember when my father fell at 89 and we were all extremely concerned. While he was hospitalized and the doctors observed him for his injuries, they said he was also depressed and was still grieving my mom’s passing . They had to keep in in the hospital for his injuries but they also sent in a therapist to talk to him.
    Forgive my suggestion, but it sounds like your folks need couples counseling. Or individual counseling. (There is actually such a thing as geriatric counseling. And it’s paid for by Medicare).
    Your folks do sound like spoiled kids. They are angry at one another and behaving like teens. I suppose it’s easier to blame others than accept aging. But it is really difficult when you are put in the middle. Maybe you could speak to their doctors and ask for suggestions. There are people who help families deal with these issues. And if it’s a suggestion from a doctor it hopefully takes some of the burden off you. Good luck. Sending hugs and courage during such challenging times. ❤️😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did talk to their primary, so he’s been helping me out…but the reality is, getting your parents to do things they don’t necessarily want to do. I get the loss of dignity, but at some point they need to accept that they’re older and things have to change

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I agree. I was lucky that my father was practical and pretty good at taking suggestions. My mom went first from cancer so it was different. But she was stubborn and I could totally see her pulling a trick like your mom did. I guess there may be consequences to “growing old together”! People seem to get more Stubborn with age. 😿

        Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG. Your first paragraph immediately brought me to a book I read called The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Not normally my type of genre, by I really liked the book. You should check it out.

    Agreed with the caretaking aspect. My dad was just recently released from the hospital after a two-month stay and between taking care of him and my mom, it’s been insane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First…love that book. So well done. Second…it’s so hard figuring out how to navigate their aging and their health. They don’t want to look at the situation as it is…which I sympathize with, but really, sometimes things need to change/adapt

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am glad your dad is OK. I had a “discussion” with my parents and their behavior which ended with me being persona-nongrata and I am forbidden to attend my dad’s funeral (the drama). Parents, parents are way more difficult than children. Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My dad lives alone and is 90. My brother tried to make me feel guilty for moving away (he used to be 15 miles from me.) But my dad loves his independence and gets cranky if he doesn’t have his way. “Have a nice life!” would upset anyone. My dad has outbursts lately that he hasn’t had before. Last time we visited he went ballistic because we moved our car out of his driveway before he backed his car out of the garage. He almost hit us the last time. Then my brother visited and he said my dad lost it with him too over something minor and used the “F” word. I think they lose their filters as they age.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We bought our house with a casita in case my dad would need to move in. But I honestly don’t think I could handle it. Nor he. He lives in a senior community and drives a golf cart around. He plays golf, fishes, takes ukulele and does remote yacht racing. In my home he’d be isolated and watch TV. I sound like I’m trying to assuage my guilt for moving away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agreed. We haven’t reached that point yet. Our good friend’s mom lives in the same senior community as my dad and they had to move her into assisted living last month. I’m not looking forward to that.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble Your mom may have nudged you to call the police. In our family, my husband is more accepting of suggestions from our daughter than from me. I was caregiver for my mom. She wanted to stay in her home so we compromised. When she was unwell, she came to stay with us and once she was better she returned to her home. Basically we kept two homes going. I would gladly do it again even though I was exhausted. Fortunately we were able to take a week break every three months or so. We were both also working. Now we are aging and are not finding it to be fun. It is frustrating to not be able to do the same things we once did with eases. We forget things. One feels they are losing control of their lives and it is frightening. We hope to be able to age as gracefully as possible but I know we already have moments we frustrate our daughter.

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    1. I feel for my Dad…and I’m trying to be cognizant of his dignity…but it’s hard to treat him like an adult when he isn’t acting like one. It’s so hard to navigate

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  10. I remember discussing this situation with you on the rooftop in New York! How frustrating and unfair! I say if they’ll going to act like children then they’ll have to agree to some boundaries when it comes to their safety. Such as always having a cell phone with them wherever they go and you have permission to follow their location. And if the police need to be called then they’re both grounded for a week! I agree, parents are much more difficult to parent and I’ve made a notation in my how to grow old gracefully journal. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I saw you the day after this escapade…and you know the story about my mother in law drama happening at the same time…I know…my parents are grounded till further notice

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I think this discussion affects everyone one because even if you are not taking care of your parents, you will be aging yourself some day. There are many articles and books about being caught in the middle between raising kids and navigating the unknown of aging parents, but every situation is different so there really can’t be a manual. I’m sure this story isn’t funny yet to you, but one day it will be. Meanwhile I wish you the best as you figure life out one day at a time–and try to maintain your sanity!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The community hires a maintenance crew and a landscaping crew. But it’s more ABC maintenance who sends a weekly crew, who may or may not be the same people, to take care of things. It’s not like I would be able to call the head of the lawn guy at 9pm and say please look for my father. No doorman. No one on staff at the buildings, etc. Someone might have a dog walker, but who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so sorry! No one does tell us we end up parenting our parents, because they’re afraid of how we’d react, I think. I remember the first time it really sunk in to me I sort of panicked! Looking in on them, doing chores around their house, taking them to appointments….that stuff is easy and I don’t mind it a bit. But when they become immature and stubborn and stop making even close to good decisions, it becomes very, very hard. Hang in there, let yourself vent when you need to, and do whatever you can to create boundaries you can live with!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s got to be so difficult. I know that I’ve strived to do better in parenting than I experienced as a child. Sometimes it’s all we can hang onto…that we have the chance to learn from these experiences. I can only imagine how frustrating that situation must have been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I wrote a rather controversial post recently aboit how at 65 I’m going to start giving my daughter more control over my affairs and such. I don’t want to do to her what my parents are doing to me

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know your life, but I feel compelled to give a trigger warning: abusive dad, unsupportive mom, and post partum depression, but it’s so well written.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Parenting the parents can be a nightmare. Despite my Dad having two forms of dementia, and being a physically big guy, he was easier to deal with than my mother – because she’s shamelessly manipulative. It took a long time before I called her on it. Now I do it all the time, and my life is (generally) more peaceful. Unfortunately, my siblings don’t do this, and my brother and one sister fell out spectacularly, never to speak again – all because of my mother’s unchecked manipulative behaviour. Guard against that before it happens. Take care of yourself LA, I wish you all the best for the tough road ahead. If you need a willing ear to vent to outside of your usual circle, you know how to reach me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right – it’s not a subject which is spoken of much in public. For many it feels too private, for some it’s too uncomfortable to share negative emotions, for others they don’t feel they have a right to share less than glowing stuff about their parents. Whatever the reason, it does mean it can come as quite the shock.

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