From a phone conversation:
Me: Hi, Mom. Whatcha doin'?
Mom: I was just about to climb the ladder again, and trim the tree that beat my antenna to pieces.
Me:...You have someone holding the ladder, right?
Mom: Your sister is upstairs in her bedroom. She's mad at me* for some reason, and took off last night. Haven't seen her since.
Me: What about your sisters?
Mom: They're gone.
Me: Then please get my sister down to come hold the ladder.
Mom: I can't. She's mad at me.
Me: Then please wait until one of my aunts gets home to hold the ladder.
Mom: I'm not stupid, daughter. I have it braced. It's not going to fall.
Me: I would not call trusting a braced ladder with nobody there to help anything but stupid.
Mom: Well, what do you expect me to do? It needs done, and nobody else is around to do it for me! And I don't like climbing ladders. If it wasn't braced, I wouldn't be climbing it.
Me: Fine. Break your fool neck.
This woman has an unruptured aneurism in her brain, behind her left eye. The neurologist has told her not to strain herself, and not to fall. She also has arthritic bone spurs in both hips. Bad balance due to inner ear issues. Weakness in her hands and shoulders.
I'd rather she didn't climb anything--even a step stool--but short of being institutionalized and tied to a fucking hospital bed, nobody's going to be able to keep her from doing stupid things.
And it's going to be her killed, yes, but it's going to hurt my kids knowing that their grandmother was killed because she did something so far beyond stupid that it's not even visible from there.
*My sister is mad because my mom brought home a dog that has a tendency to go insane, and is at least part Pitt Bull. /And Mom won't hear a word against the stupid thing.
34 minutes ago