Tonight I stopped to get carry-out after a long medical and dash-around day. An elderly woman, perhaps in her late 80's, was standing at the counter staring at a milk shake that had been spilled on the floor. A younger woman, perhaps in her mid to late 60's or 70's, was getting napkins to clean up the mess.
The older woman was saying something about the cleanup, as I think she felt she should be doing it. So I tried to console her by telling her the staff would clean it up and not to worry about. She suddenly became very friendly, smiling, cheerful, and asked me my name, trying to start a conversation. I responded until my order was taken.
She left then, and the next thing I knew was hollering out "I'm not going to fall!" There was more shouting, then the 2 women and a man began to leave, with the man yelling "I'm not going to take you out any more!"
Suddenly I thought of all the posters who write about their parents who change moods instantaneously, who are nice to other people but hostile to their caregivers, and I had an actual glimpse into what you face.
It was a sad situation; each of the 3 seemed stressed in one way or another, but the older one was angry, really angry, apparently at her daughter. Yet she was so sweet to me. It was almost as if she was trying to redeem her anger by showing she could be kind.