Saturday, October 9, 2010


I like to be right as much as the next person. OK, actually, I have a horrible need to always be right. I'm hoping that living with Mom and her failing memory will teach me some humility.

Mom gave me a huge load of flannel shirts to wash a few weeks ago. I washed them and dried them... and found them a few days later when they got in the way of putting in another load! Of course, I didn't have time to do anything with them right then, so I put them in a basket. Then, in the course of the cleanout/remodeling, the basket got moved a few times. And hidden under other stuff. And then moved again. You get the idea.

Yesterday, I ran across it again and figured it was time to deal with it. (Clearly, ignoring it wasn't getting the flannel to fulfill its destiny of being packed in boxes for Goodwill on its own.)

So, I ran them through the dryer on the touchup cycle, draped them over my arm one by one, and brought the pile up to Mom.

"I washed these shirts for you a few weeks ago, Mom," I told her. "You said you wanted them washed, and then you'd sort out which ones you want to keep and which you want to donate. Can you go through them?"

"I will after awhile," was her reply. In hindsight, our exchange had "misunderstanding" written all over it.

I left to take Dad to an appointment. When I got back, all the shirts were in the dirty laundry pile. *sigh*

She said she thought I said the shirts had to be washed, not sorted for donation. I started to say something, that I'd clearly told her what needed to be done, but I decided against it. To tell her that would point out a deficiency that I know she feels awful about, and she can't fix. So, instead, I told her that I was sorry I hadn't been clear enough. And that I would try to do better next time.

I hope and pray that through this, I can learn to think before I speak and consider whether its important to be in the right. I'm sure I will find it often is not.
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