On Sunday afternoon, my mother called because her car had broken down. Thankfully, it wasn’t on the freeway. She had just dropped Dad off at the Board and Care, heard a big clunk and then the car slowed to a stop.

Triple AAA came along and towed her car to the transmission shop…because that “clunk” probably indicated a kaputt transmission.

On Monday, we rented a car for Mom, knowing this was going to take a while and that her car had seen its days.

On Tuesday, Mom took Dad over to the transmission shop to get some things out of her car and talk to Andre, the repair guy.

Big mistake.

Dad shouldn’t be taken along on errands that require decision making. First of all, because of his Alzheimer’s disease, he doesn’t understand problems. They upset him. He just wants the problem resolved.

Secondly, he turns into Mr. Alpha, dismissing Mom and taking command of the situation.

Andre carefully explained the problem to both of my parents.

“Fix it!” Dad told him.

So Andre turned to Dad to describe the problem in more detail, and then to give him the price tag of a new transmission. “It’ll be about $3,000 to fix, but that’s less than buying a new car,” he told Dad.

Mom’s car is 13 years old and she purchased it three years ago for $3.000.

“Fix it!” Dad roared.

Mom tried to shake her head at Andre behind Dad. “Wait until I speak to my son-in-law.”

My job today is to get hold of Andre. Fast!

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