Saturday 4 March 2000

money worries

Mum's been a bit worrying recently: we had a conversation where her personal wealth veered from £20,000 down to £200 within a couple of sentences. She kept stopping and saying: "no...let's see..." and sounding like she was covering up. I think that she wants to present a competent front to me so that I don't get stressed, but she just can't manage it. I was concerned that she said she was still getting "handouts" from her Solicitor, 8 months after Dad died, when I thought everything was done and dusted, so I suggested that I rang S to ask for some sort of account of how Mum stood. She was adamant that I shouldn't ring S. As Executor, though, I felt I should talk to her. S said that Mum has been in to see her every single day asking questions.... often the same ones over and over.

Friday 3 March 2000


I've begun this blog because I can't keep troubling my brother-in-law with emails about my Mother, who I believe is declining mentally. I am her only relative in this country (my Sister has severed contact with us both and lives abroad). It's my hope to blow off steam by recording conversations I've had with Mum which illustrate her current state of mind. I recognise that some of the stories will paint me in a poor light. The fact is that almost every incident, serious or trivial, leaves me paralysed with doubts and fears for the future and what may come. It is especially hard for me to intervene on Mum's behalf when I live 300 miles away. Please be constructive with your comments, if you have any. I am alone with this and a bit slow to learn and understand from situations (I'm a guy).

The posts will begin with a selection of emails spanning the last seven years, since my Father's death. Throughout their married life, Dad shielded Mum from the practicalities of the world, so it was only when he was gone that it became apparent how dependent she was. I remember her handing me a bank statement and saying, "I don't know how I'm going to pay this bill." That was simply ignorance but, later when I got anguished phone calls from her worrying that she had only £50 in her account, I realised that something was wrong. The next day she'd be adamant her account held £500,000. It was more than a problem with decimal places, though. It took me seven years to find out that she was meantime responding to every charity envelope that came through her door, giving away more than three times her income every month until she had donated almost all her savings, including the money she made selling our family home.

Actually, now that I write this out, I can't imagine who would want to read all this angst, bile and woe... I was worried about how I looked complaining about a poor defenceless old lady, but now I'm worried about who my readers will be! All I can do is go ahead and post this stuff. When I get to the present day, I hope I will derive some benefit from just putting my irritations out there. But if anyone has been through something similar and has advice on available services or methods of coping, please please leave a comment.

13th October 2006