Who Threw In The Towel?

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In my last two posts, The Dirt on My Mom and Team Wash Mom vs. Mom, I gave you a ringside seat to watch the competition between mom and the staff at her day care. The competition pits professionals who know how to bathe and change clothes for folks who, for whatever reason(s), just don’t want to be bathed or to change clothes.

My mom is one of those folks.

Even though she is not a professional like the staff is, she sure knows what she does or doesn’t like to do. And when Helen Douglas Martin Laughon does not like something she has the fortitude, strength and determination to do what she damn well pleases. She stands only 4 foot tall, but cast one mighty intimidating shadow. Oh, and did I mention her voice, when agitated, sounds like a drill sergeant barking orders at new recruits.

Last week, the staff did wash and change mom, but they admitted it was so challenging that they really didn’t do a good job with either. And, mom was the last person standing and still flailing when it was halted before the tasks were properly completed.

So, the referee announced round one was a draw.

Today was supposed to be round two.

Guess what?

Team Wash Mom, after powwowing in the locker room,  just up and forfeited. Yep, the pros threw in the towel before the bell even rang to begin round two.

Their rationale was that they had traumatized mom and mom had traumatized them in the first go round and that they needed two or thee weeks to develop a more trusting relationship and environment before giving it another shot.

Now, I have two or three weeks to go where angels feared to tread.

Mr. Clean (that’s my new, improved, Super Hero persona) is going to take on the greatest challenge ever.

Maybe, with your help, ideas and encouragement, we can do what Team Wash Mom has yet to prove they can do.

“There were too many challenges to enumerate….Good way to grow up, though! Never thought I’d survive, lol, but I did, and the better for it. Obstacles in life are the challenge. Without the challenge, we are empty shells. After overcoming the challenges, we are empowered either by God’s grace, or the devils illusions, depending on how we overcame them. It is 10 years behind me now. Enough to have some insight. My mom was 93.”  – Bion Schouten

Bion, thanks for being with me every step of the way. I am so blessed to have you as my friend. – Tom

About Tom Laughon

Tom Laughon (Pronounced Lawn) is President of Catch Your Limit, an organization whose sole purpose is to guide and grow leaders. His journey from lead singer in a rock-n-roll band, to a successful career in marketing & advertising to consultant, strategist, keynote speaker, facilitator, professor and writer is a fascinating one. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Tom and his team guide organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to national associations, to "catch their limit" in areas such as leadership development, creativity, innovation, teaming and transformational change. His commitment to "practice what he preaches" has made Catch Your Limit a petri dish for round-the-clock discovery and learning. The firm's brand reflects Tom's personal brand: Fun, Inspirational, Strategic & Hot!

3 responses »

  1. Kudos to you my dear friend for being a wonderful, loving son! I know all too well the trials of trying to care for a dominant elderly woman… My grandmother gave us hell and kept us frustrated (but giggling inside). Maybe the professionals need a lesson in how to wash a pig!!


  2. Tom I will give you a thousand dollars if you succeed in getting Helen to bathe. I speak from experience, when I mentioned bath to her, she told me I could get my things and leave ( this is the clean version of what she said to me). So my suggestion is hang up your Mr. Clean suit and call the A-team. GOOD LUCK 🙂


  3. Don’t forget the Lord didn’t wash his hands so much, either. I know, I know, there are limits of what is infringing on our health….but at her age, she ain’t worrying about it. Just remind her of the old adage, “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, and see if that gets you anywhere…and give it time to sink in. (like a week) lol.



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