By Neena Strichart
I consider myself to be a fortunate individual. I have good friends, relatively good health, a business I enjoy (most of the time) and a pretty terrific husband. Although the aforementioned circumstances are, in my opinion, indeed blessings, I believe my relationship with my mother to be the most cherished part of my life.
At 91 years of age, Mom is in pretty darn good health. After facing and then beating stage 4 cancer a few years back, thanks to Dr. Robert Nagourney, we are still in the mode of cherishing every day we can spend together…even if it is just on the phone.
Many evenings I come home from work, fix dinner and then announce to Steve “I’m going to call my mom now.” That statement is code for “If you think you’re going to need me for anything over the next hour or so, you’d better ask now because once we gals get on the phone, you know it’s going to be a LONG visit.”
It doesn’t matter if I saw Mom the day before or if we had a lengthy chat the night before, if I call her or she calls me, we’d both better find comfortable chairs and get ready to burn up the phone lines. What do we talk about? Oh, we talk about my work, any tidbits of news that I might be privy to (well, not EVERYTHING), family happenings, a book we are reading– the topics are endless.
A couple of weeks ago, Mom called, and I could tell by the sound of her voice that something was “up.” Her first sentence uttered confirmed my suspicions as she declared, “I guess I have a confession to make.” Figuring whatever she had to tell me would probably not be as bad as it sounded, I inquired as to the nature of her confession. Mom sheepishly informed me that she had “lost” her wallet a couple of days earlier. Before I could respond, she let me know that there wasn’t much cash involved in the loss. Our conversation then turned to trying to figure out where she might have lost the wallet– or, as I suspected, where she might have had it “lifted.”
Mom was sure that she must have dropped it and said that she had even gone through her car on hands and knees with a flashlight with no success. Next on my agenda was to determine what steps would need to be taken to protect her identity and save her from any credit card fraud. Seconds into that conversation, Mom informed me that she had already gone over to the DMV and picked up a temporary license, called the bank and cancelled outstanding checks in her wallet, as well as cancelled her ATM and credit cards and ordered new ones. She then shared that she had also called her healthcare provider and asked them for a new card as well. I must say, I was impressed that she was so quick on her feet! Heck, I’m 56 years old, and I don’t think I’d have the presence of mind to work as quickly as she did to cover my own fanny should my wallet disappear.
The good news is, last Friday Mom got her wallet back. She went to have her car washed at Bixby Knolls Car Wash and one of the employees found her wallet under the driver’s seat. I guess that vacuum hose really has some powerful suction. Mom swears she looked under the seats twice but didn’t see it. I believe her; it’s difficult to get down on the ground and maneuver into the right position to really see under the seats. Well, the drama is over for now, and we both learned an important lesson…Mom is more on the ball than either one of us (she or I) gave her credit for. Yippee!