( Composed 6/15/2008 )
Friday, June 13, 2008
I seem to be making a bad habit of composing my messages before the excitement of the day is over. For Friday, the main event happened in the late evening, about the time I went to bed for the trip home. Several members of the family decided that Yvonne must go, after Chris checked the references she supplied a week earlier. They turned out to be bogus; not only did she have no experience or evidence of education in taking care of the elderly, but two letters of recommendation were the same, word for word, though they had dates suggesting they were written five years apart. And when she learned that we had contacted Hospice to provide for my mother’s care at home, she acted like she had never even heard of that organization!
There were some other factors, too, not bad enough to disqualify someone, but enough to make us suspicious. The main one was that Yvonne refused to accept Leive as a member of the family. At one point she told a baldfaced lie, claiming that everything had been all right until Leive and I arrived on the scene. Well, I know better; Dad may have bottomed out by the time we reached Orlando, but when we saw Mom, she was coming apart. Now I think if our arrival had been delayed another week, Mom would have deteriorated past the point of return.
We decided to act when we learned that three serious mistakes had been made in my mother’s care. I won’t go into the details, except to say that they could have fatal, if we hadn’t been around to catch them. Some cloak-and-dagger events followed. When Leive got back from seeing her friends (see the previous messages), she called them up to arrange a meeting at a nearby gas station. She made that call in the kitchen, while my father and Yvonne were in there, too. Leive got away with it by talking in Cebuano the whole time! Then we went to the gas station to pick up three of Leive’s friends and bring them back; three more came to the house later. The six of them met in the family room with Dad, Uncle Rich, Aunt Sue, my brother Chris, Leive and I, where we eventually convinced Dad this needed to be done, and Yvonne’s replacement wouldn’t cost any more than what he was paying now. Then Chris and Uncle Rich went to Yvonne to tell her the bad news. She left without too much of a fight, fortunately. To the end, she continued to believe it was always someone else’s fault, this time blaming it on “that Filipino” (I don’t think she ever called Leive by name).
Two of Leive’s friends agreed to take Yvonne’s place, one for Mom and one for Dad. Now Leive is planning to staying in Florida for at least an extra week, to make sure the new caregivers are trained. Therefore I expect to go home with extra bags of books instead of her.