Many of you have likely had the same experience – caring for a parent fighting a terminal illness. My story includes the added intrigue of making the worst financial transaction of my life while helping my family care for our dying mother.
As my mother’s body continued to fail her week after week, her mind was still sharp as a tack. We would make our ride to Mass General Hospital each week and fondly named our group the “chemo club.” We hopped into my 2009 Yukon XL, took our assigned seats, and left the driving to my husband. It’s how Ginny wanted it. Why did she want him to drive? I’m not sure. He does have his CDL license and an excellent driving record, but he’s also prone to getting an inch off the bumper of the car in front of us if that driver refuses to switch lanes. Me? It’s taken me years to become unfazed by his driving. Maybe she didn’t even notice in the second row of seats. (I choose that seat, now, when we are driving with a crowd in the Yukon. It’s a nicer view from that spot.)
As we took that dreaded ride up Route 3, the exits became permanently branded in our brains. Every time, at the same exit, Ginny would say it, “Cheryl, you still own the Apple?” The first time she asked, on that first trip, I responded matter-of-factly. “No Ma, I sold the Apple to use as a down payment on a property.” She, of course, thought this was a HUGE error in judgment. “That was a mistake,” she said.
It was Ma who told me to buy Apple in the first place. The market had gone through a crash and she urged me to invest in Apple. I took that advice and when I did sell, it paid off in a great little profit. I was happy I followed her advice, bought right and sold before too much greed set in. I was proud of the trade.
The same dreaded journey. The same seats. The same exits. It became so predictable that my sister, riding in the third row of seats, would text me: “Here it comes.” Sure enough, Ma would say, “Cheryl, you still own the Apple?” My response stayed the same, “No Ma, I sold the Apple to use as a down payment on a property.” Then came her scolding that it was not a smart move. My sister would text a smart ass response, we would laugh, and Ginny would ask what was so funny. “Nothing!”