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Kleenex Tissues, Momma’s New Best Friend

(Mom sips her juice in bedI’m peeing at the same time. —Mom, my multitasker

It seems that many, if not all, seniors are obsessed with Kleenex tissues. A Kleenex to stifle a runny nose, to catch a trickle of drool, or to erase, with a little spit, that smudge on a grandchild’s face. Neatly folded or hastily balled, crammed up a sleeve or stashed in a pocket, cherished in any condition, and always at the ready, Kleenex tissues are a senior’s best friend.

Mom also loved her Kleenex, perhaps more than most. She used one tissue over and over until rendering it utterly useless. After each assault, she stuffed those soggy shreds up her sleeve for safe keeping.

When I first discovered this nasty habit and attempted to replace the old, tattered tissue with a new one, she immediately and unequivocally rejected my offer. When I tried to wrestle it from her clutches, she fought me tooth and nail. Extracting that trace of a tissue turned into a fierce battle of wills, more agonizing than separating an obstinate child from her baby blanket. Was I battling the last bastion of the Great Depression? Did this pathetic clump of fibers represent something more than I realized? The answer was a resounding no. That brave tissue served her well. It lasted far beyond what the inventors intended or dared to imagine, and it deserved a swift and proper burial.

Mom may have been as stubborn as they come—and, at times, impossible—but she met her match with me. And I had no intention of giving in. Instead, I used my well-honed powers of persuasion I often employed during our time together.

“I’ll give you this brand-new, right-out-of-the-box, super-soft tissue, good for several uses, in exchange for that disgusting, disease-carrying one.” If she hedged, I added, “And the new one comes with a hot cup of tea.”

Mission accomplished.

Hoping to avoid our own highly inevitable Kleenex addiction, my sister Laurel and I entered a pact. If either of us ever caught the other stuffing a tissue in any condition up his or her sleeve, they shall be put to death with the offender’s blessing. So far, so good.

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#Humor #Memoir #eldercare #acupofteaonthecommode

Published by A Cup of Tea on the Commode, a memoir

The parent/child role reversal might not have been unique to me, but how I dealt with it was. "A Cup of Tea on the Commode" chronicles my multi-tasking adventures, filling my mother’s last years with love, laughter, and joy. Though not always successful, I came pretty damn close.

3 thoughts on “Kleenex Tissues, Momma’s New Best Friend

  1. I find Kleenex everywhere, bags mostly, car, coat pockets, trouser pockets….and no where near as old as your Mom!

  2. Love it!!! My mom, too, stuffed her Kleenex up her sleeve!!! Although hers were new clean ones, this brought back a memory of my mom! Thanks! I love your stories of your journeys with your mom. Thank you ❤️

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