...and I found my mother waiting for me with a vase of roses and an apology card. She realized that she really crossed the line calling at me and yelling at me at work, and that it was what had made me mad at her (not the events themselves prior to that). She was feeling really bad over that, especially since she was just talking to aunt Louise. (Louise is actually my grandmother's lifelong best friend, not a blood relative.) Louise's son David is dying of AIDS, and Louise said several months ago "All I wish is for my son to outlive me" because she's seen how hard losing uncle Bob (my mom's younger brother) was on grandma. Last month, Louise was diagnosed with brain cancer, and had two things to tell mom: first, that you should value any moment you have with your children...and second, be damned careful what you wish for!
So mom was feeling bad about that, especially after we sorted out the sequence of events, and also hadn't realized how big a thing this weekend was for me. She thought it was just some other spur-of-the-moment trip, not a friend's 30th birthday. Upon reflection, she realized that John (dad's old boss when he was a Federal agent, who's one of dad's two best friends even after dad retired) was back from his sailing trip and could come by to feed and care for Kumo instead.
Quite a mess, but in the end it all got resolved.