Dec 11, 2009

Update on MIL living with us

Well, we didn't even make it to Christmas.

My MIL is 71 and has decided it's just way too cold up here for her to stay with us. This decision was made when we were still in the 50s, though. Finally, we had our own "bombing" on Pearl Harbor Day when she made it abundantly (and maliciously) clear that we had no right to keep her here and that she was going HOME. Then she cried for half an hour as she stared out the window at our first flurries.

On top of that, she was VERY mad about our not letting her do her usual routine of staying up 'til 4am, getting up at noon and watching TV the rest of the time, not to mention the horrendous diet she insisted she wasn't doing (5 diet Cokes a day, steady stream of sugar, no water, etc.). Instead we tried to include her in my day of taking care of and teaching my son, as well as spending time with her in the evenings doing things BESIDES watching TV.


I'm disappointed. We had hoped to give her an opportunity for real family life (her home life has been so bad that they had to put her in the hospital...FOUR times in the last three years), a chance to get to know her only grandchild, as well as help her body and her short-term memory heal. Because we can't get guardianship away from her worthless (sorry, my opinion) husband, she's free to make the decision to go back to a life of endless TV, no healthy food, and a mix of pills and alcohol (thanks to said bonehead husband).

There's nothing we can do to stop her, so we're letting her go. We know we cared for her in a way that could have brought back the "mom" we remember. To be honest, she's choosing death over life.

So, MY life is about to return to care of my immediate family (as of Wednesday at the latest). I'm very excited about that now that I'm over the disappointment of her choice.

The best part of this decision for me?



FarmMom said...

Sorry it did not work out how you had hoped! But, like you said, SHE is choosing, not you. You did your best! That is worth a LOT.

Mrs.P said...

Im sorry hun. My grandmother is the same way, now she is a retirement community because of alzheimers but before that she NEVER drank water, she only drank soda pop, she would eat half a grapefruit for breakfast and a box of oreo's for lunch and then make my grandfather take her out to dinner...EVERY NIGHT. She couldnt do anything by herself because my grandfather enabled her, not so seriously as not so good husband over there, he just did everything for her so now she can't do anything for herself, it's just sad because we know what's best for them and they don't, or don't care. At least you tried, that's one for your team.

Roxanne said...

Thank you, both.

I know that I know that we were providing a chance for a positive change. I'm still sad that she prefers her former "way of life" over her family.

I wish she and bonehead (I mean her DH) would move to a retirement community. At least we would know that someone would keep an eye on them.

For me it's a wake up call to establish the GOOD habits in our lives NOW!

Mrs Tailleur said...

Your story reminded me of my childhood. My grandmother would come to stay at our house,she had to fight with my mother before she could go home. I think it was her way of leaving when she knew our house was a real home. Hot cook meals, regular bed times,lots of reading and love.She went back to a lonely house.

Jitterbug said...

You poor thing... Well, I'm glad at least that she made a decision without dragging it out for too long. It's tough to see people choose things when the alternative seems like such a no-brainer to us. My great-aunt is in her 90s and has frustrated all her friends and nieces with some choices she's made lately. My mom had a tough time with it, then made up her mind she couldn't do anything about it and would just have to focus on her own life. All we can do I guess is be prepared to make good choices for ourselves someday when we're not as able or independent as we are now.

Anonymous said...

I think that the fact that you tried so hard to accommodate her into your lives on such short notice is still something to be applauded! I am sorry that she is choosing to throw away a gift that you are giving her.


Beth from Upstate NY said...

You can try to rear your children to have good values, but you sure can't rear your in-laws. Somebody already did that.

I've been observing my older female relatives, looking for some hints about how to grow older with grace and dignity. At first, I thought the most important things to have were good health and financial security. Those are helpful, but I've found that they are not essential. The women who cope with old age the best are the ones who have learned to accept change, even to embrace new experiences with interest and joy. So now when I feel fearful of trying new things, I try to take a deep breath and be like my grandmother and open myself up to the new. What have you learned from watching older women?

Anonymous said...

Hi Roxanne,

I'm so sorry this didn't work out. I hear ya'. It's really sad to see loved ones making choices that hurt them.

I love what Beth had to say about growing older. I want that to be me! It reminds me of something I've been wanting to formulate into a post one day.



Roxanne said...

Mrs. Tailleur--Interesting...and sad. How did your mom deal with it?

Jitterbug--That's what we're trying to do, too. Of course, I'm reviewing everything wondering what I could have done to make things better...

Mrs. J--You're right, of course. We DID give it our best and it really was a last chance for her. They left this morning and I'm worried about her!

Beth--What wonderful examples you have in your life! ALL of my examples of older women are not ones I want to follow. Would you be willing to do a "guest post" for me about what you've gleaned from your relatives? I think that would prove to be very helpful as we all make our way through the aging process.

Trixie--If you write up a post about this topic, I'll link to you. I think it's important for us to make a decision now about how we're going to be as we grow older.

Beth from Upstate NY said...

Well, I'm not a blogger, but I'd be up to the challenge of writing about the older women I've known - the good and the bad. How do I go about doing a guest post for you?

Shar said...

What a frustrating situation!

It is so hard to watch a beloved family member sink.

My own mother, only 52 years old, has been in a rut since my dad left 8 years ago. She sleeps all day, eats junk and pops pills when she isn't sleeping, and has run through all of her alimony already.

She is an old woman at 52. She has no hopes and drags her feet on the smallest of things.

The problem is, she WANTS to move in with me and have me take care of her. She has given up and wants me to take over.

I commend you for making the great effort that you did.

At least she knows she has a family that loves her in her corner.

Packrat said...

Roxanne, I'm so sorry. Just remember that you tried. Also, remember (as time goes by) that you MIL is ill.

One thing that I have found out in the last few months is that even the sanest of people sometimes do really odd things.


Roxanne said...

Beth from Upstate NY--

I'm going to turn on "moderation" for a short time.

If you would send your email address via the comments, I'll delete it so doesn't post and then remove moderation.

We'll communicate via email after that.

I'm really looking forward to what you've learned!

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