Retreats, Casinos, and Nursing Homes – Heaven on Earth?

My mom stays with my brother and his family during the week. Then on weekends she stays with my sister.

It’s a long story, but the long and short of it is, she doesn’t stay with me. Except this coming weekend when my sis is not around (or something) and she’s staying one night with me.

Let’s hope the cops won’t be involved in the morning.

I should explain more, but maybe another time. What you need to understand is, my brother shoulders most of the responsibility for caring for my mom. Or as I would put it, “putting up with my mom”.

ANYWAY, he pointed out that there are really nice retirement villages in Chiang Mai (Thailand).

To put this in context, my mom had said that she suspects the maid (my brother’s) had been stealing her money. She told my sis that if the maid is stealing her money, she can’t stay there anymore.

My sis wondered if this was leading up to a request from my mom for her to stay with my sister.

Some more background. (Sorry. Family politics tend to have a long history.)

My mom is… well… not exactly a cantankerous old goat. But she’s kind of negative. Or she can be. In the past after living with my brother or sister for a while, she would build up a collection of grudges and then move in with the other. So at one point she moved between my brother and my sister, before she wore out her welcome (in her mind) at both places and declared that she was going to Canada, where my other brother lives, to stay with him.

So we (or mainly my sister) planned the trip and sent her there.

One week later, calling from Canada, she said she wanted to come back. She had either worn out her welcome or she just didn’t like it there. She was to have been there for a few months.

Anyway, she got back and since then, we had settled into a sort of equilibrium where she has been staying with my brother (in Singapore) for some time now. And it helps that he lives across from a church and the Catholic Centre. Because my mom could go to Church every day (if she wanted), and could attend retreats at the Catholic Centre during the weekends if there were one. So that is one of the reasons she liked it there. I think.

But she is a restless spirit and cannot stay in one place for very long. I think. Maybe it’s because she’s Khek. Which is Hokkien or Teochew for “Guest”. The Khek, also known as Hakka to the Cantonese (Hakka also means “guest” in Cantonese) are, according to their name and myth, a nomadic Chinese dialect group. I should probably find out more about them. Maybe this might upset some Hakka/Khek enough that they will try to enlighten me in the comments. Anyway, this may explain her “nomadic” lifestyle. Maybe.

So as we discussed her worry that the maid is stealing from her, we wondered if a) she was just imagining things, b) she simply forgot where she put her money (she’s getting quite forgetful), or c) this is all a ploy so she has an excuse to move in with my sister.

And my sister made it clear it was not possible for her to move in full-time or permanently.

So that was when my brother raised the option of a retirement home Chiang Mai.

We (and by ‘we’ I mean PL) suggested that if we told mom that it was a year-long Catholic retreat in Chiang Mai, she might be more receptive to the idea. My brother confirmed that there was a Catholic centre there – two of his friends had been there and it was very nice.

The plan was coming together!

I wondered if there were jackpot machines there.

When we brought her to Genting recently, she had not been there for some time, and she took every opportunity to go to the casino. Though on the last night she wanted to take a break as she had won quite a bit and wanted to keep her winnings. But she was persuaded to go one more time as who knows when she will be back. So she did. And lost most of her winnings.

Anyway, her perfect retirement home would have access to Church, Retreats, and Jackpot machines. That would be heaven on earth for her.

Maybe we could plan a trip there to check out the facilities. Could be a family trip.

And of course we should bring our kids, so they will know where to dump us when we are old.


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