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Gut-wrenching fear struck me as I looked at the name that popped up on my phone, Deanna Deanna. The name was supposed to only say Deanna, but apparently I had a brain fart the day I entered my Aunt Deanna’s name into my contact list. Just seeing her name once was a enough to make me nauseous, but twice put me over the edge. Deanna never calls me unless there is a problem, specifically with my Mother. As I live 90 miles away, my Mother’s sister is her first line of defense is something were to happen. Considering the fact that Mom is 80 years-old things are bound to happen that are out of our control.

For years my Mom and her younger sister have been daily lunch partners with the latter picking her up. They hit almost every restaurant in town during the week and when they are done with that they go to the surrounding cities for lunch. On this particular day they were sitting at the local bowling alley getting ready to order lunch. Before they even picked up the menu Mom turned a pasty white, started sweating bullets, and had difficulty moving her left arm without extreme pain. Aunt Deanna rushed her to the emergency room then gave me the call that made me start sweating bullets.

Everything turned out OK with Mom for now, but it still frightened me to the core. I stayed with Mom for a few days, then did something that put me in the doghouse. Before leaving for home I drove her to the Home Health division of the hospital and told her this was it, she’s getting a Life Line. Yes, Life Line. You know those annoying commercials “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”? Talk about an unhappy camper. Mom was not pleased at all with the fact I was forcing her to do something against her will. She is very independent and stubborn but she wasn’t getting her way this time. She informed me that she wasn’t one of those old ladies and she always has her cell phone with her (no, she doesn’t).

I didn’t back down and got my way this time but it made me feel awful. My mom is my closest friend in the world and felt as if I had betrayed her confidence. That feeling didn’t last too long though. By the time I drove home I felt so much more secure knowing Mom would be safer in her home now. In fact, it’s been several weeks now and she no longer even mentions the help button that hangs around her neck. Maybe that’s because she is now upset with me for mentioning the dreaded word “walker” or the fact I said no more driving her car. I guess we just have to take baby steps. Momma raised me which couldn’t have been easy. Now the tides have turned and I am taking care of her (when she lets me).