Flickr photo thanks to Radical Wacko

My siblings and I have divided the tasks that Mom and Dad need to have done, and I took on the paying of the bills.  I hate paying my own bills, so somehow there is a cruel irony in the fact that I am now in charge of paying their bills as well.

And let it be known, even though AARP and Medicare send your parents invoices to you, don’t think for a minute that this means you can ask questions about their accounts. Even when you have a Power of Attorney.  Pffft. Oh but  no worries, there is a multi-pageform for that and it usually involves Mom or Dad or both signing off on it.  (Added degree of difficulty here: they are in Maine, and I am not) Bleeech.

Nothing would make me happier than having someone (other than me) manage our family’s bills and expenses.  So there are times I find it amazing that my parents are having such a hard time with this.  On the one hand I understand how hard it must be to trust your life’s finances in the hands of your youngest daughter after years of doing it yourself, but on the other hand … well, I start looking at my youngest son  and thinking “hmmm, 16? is that too young for me to hand over the checkbook?”

It’s the 8 p.m. calls that smart the most.  It’s three hours after their cocktail time and about  15 minutes before the nurses come to put dad to bed, and they have been talking about things.  Between the fatigue, and the alcohol, and their age…well, what started as a mild concern escalates into a  full-blown panic. Followed by fairly direct slam dunks like “So, your dad is wondering if you know what you are doing…”


I am damned if I do and they would be damned if I didn’t.


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  1. Oh Barbara, your last line is poetic and so true. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. This is never an easy time, bureaucracy and “privacy” make it so formidable!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I know you can relate.

      I can barely deal with the paperwork we generate as a family of four now (see the post about my battles with the Cleveland Clinic… that was one whole day of chaos, and 1/2 day away from work)…and now that I see what it is going to look like when I am 90, yikes, I know I won’t be able to handle that when I get there nor will I want to wish that upon my kids.

      Sobering thoughts, indeed!

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