I have been steeped in getting out my book…which you will see below! And, okay, I took a vacation. But boy, do we need some laughter now, right? And it’s National Caregiver’s Month…so, you know…….the life of a caregiver never disappoints.
I was thinking about my mother-in-law the other day and how she was seemingly so content, no matter what was happening. She would read any book you gave her and would comment, “oh that was a nice book.” I used to say I think I’ll give her a copy of “Mein Kampf” and see what she thinks. The point is that she saw the good in everything and was pretty content with her life wherever she was and whatever she was doing.
Except that one time.
She had left her stove on in her apartment one too many times and the fire department started to know her by name like Norm in “CHEERS!”. This was not a good thing. We bit the bullet and started to look for assisted living quarters near our home, so we could go see her on a regular basis. She lived almost an hour away, so living within 10 or 15 minutes of us seemed like a dream come true for everyone.
We found a lovely place, which she approved, sold her condo, packed up all her things, and moved all her own furniture into her new assisted living apartment. I really hoped it felt like home. Plus, now it was so convenient I could visit her every day, my mom could visit, and my mom could bring some of her friends to visit. Plus, my mother-in-law would now be around lots of people on a daily basis and not feel so isolated.
The day came to move her in, and for the first time in the 25 years I’d been her daughter-in-law, she threw a tantrum.
“I’m not going!” she said.
“Mom,” I reasoned, “you like it there. We went lots of times and you liked your apartment, the food, the people….remember?”
“Why can’t I stay here with you?” she countered.
Indeed, why can’t she? I don’t have any bedrooms or shower facilities on the first floor and steps were becoming impossible for this 92-year-old.
“Mom, you can see, I don’t have a bedroom or bathroom down here on the first floor.”
“Well, I could go live with your mother. She has lots of room and she could use the help.”
Use the help? Not use the ‘company.’ Use the help. What’s she going to do, be my 80-year-old Mom’s washer woman and cleaning lady? This was not going well. Next, she may tell me she is going to get a job and her own apartment.
“Mom…..” I was stuck, I didn’t know what to say.
“I’m not going. I’m just not going, ” she pouted, and….not kidding….she stomped her foot like a toddler who doesn’t want to take a nap.
I took my only recourse.
“Get your coat. We’re leaving now. And no more shenanigans.”
Sometimes everyone responds to MOM.
The next day I went to visit. She told me I had to leave because it was lunch time and there was no room for me at her table.
“You Just Have to Laugh…..”
©2016 Cathy Sikorski