Tag Archives: Moving

Terrible 92’s………..

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…..”

Cover by Dwayne Booth!!
Cover by Dwayne Booth!!

©2016 Cathy Sikorski


What those toddler tantrums were REALLY training you for……

A friend of mine recently took a job at the Assisted Living facility where my mother-in-law spent her last few years. My friend will be a great asset to the Villa, and overall, it was a wonderful experience for us, eventually.

The first day, however, was like sending your first born to kindergarten. We had taken Mom to the facility to “check it out”, knowing full well we were already going to make it her home. ( I was going to say, “send her there” but even still those words sound so harsh….even though we KNEW it had to happen). And that tour was the disaster in my blog,  Who Knew Grandma Has Great Legs…

But we persisted with the move forward since we were still afraid that she might burn down her apartment building, or not have any nutrition but coffee for days at a time. So we brought her to our house for a long weekend, telling her that at the end of the weekend her furniture, clothing and personal items would be moved in to her new apartment and then she would move as well.

The first day of school arrives…I see her at my breakfast table having her coffee and tell her I’m going to the gym and when I get back we will shower and get ready to go.

“I’m not going. I’m not going,” she says while LITERALLY STAMPING HER FOOT LIKE A TWO-YEAR OLD! Now, my mother-in-law had an amazing sense of humor. And she is really kidding me, but I know there is a sense of panic there.

“Okay,” I say, “we’ll talk about that when I get back.”

“Don’t hurry back!” she yells after me.

As I’m working out at the gym, I realize that my best arsenal might be in remembering how I dealt with my toddlers. But I am really cognizant of respecting my mother-in-law here. We tried to include her in the process, but at 94, she wasn’t really all that interested in change.

When I return home from the gym, I hustle Mom into the shower, dress her in a darling little outfit and the protests begin:

“Why can’t I stay here and help you?” In support of that, she folded my laundry while I was at the gym, which she hasn’t done in about 5 years. Tricky little devil, this one.

“Well, Mom, because I have too many stairs, I’m not home all the time”…blah, blah blah

She is undaunted.

“Well, I can stay with  your mother. She has a big house. No one is there but her and she could use the company.”

Ugh. Remember when your little ones said “why, why, why” to everything? What did you do?

“No, Mom. Just no.”

“But…..” and she goes for it a few more times.

“No.” That’s all I say.

We get to her apartment and she is pleasantly surprised to see all her own things there set up much like her apartment that we moved her from. We go to the dining room and we let her order whatever she wants.

And this is where you know you’ve done the right thing.

She looks at her food and says:

“Who ordered this, it looks delicious!”

You just have to Laugh……………….

Cathy Sikorski