Blogtoberfest 2014- Day 30- Thankful- Precious family



Monday: Mosaic Monday – make a photomasiac to show and write about
Tuesday: Talkative Tuesday – tell us about yourself
Wednesday: Wordless Wednesday – post a photo and no words
Thursday: Thankful Thursday – write about what you are thankful/grateful for, Throwback Thursday
Friday: Friends on Friday – write about another creative you admire, Flashback Friday
Saturday: Some/Six/Seven Thoughts on Saturday
Sunday: Sunday Snippets (started by {tinniegirl}) – My week in photos… A collection of photos from your week. No need for words. Let the pictures tell your story


Thankful Thursday.

I am thankful for being able to assist in my Mother-in-law’s placement in Willowbrae nursing home yesterday. This day has been coming, no one wanted to face it, no one wanted to make the hard calls to say “It has to be done!” recently a few weeks ago she forgot to drink and got dehydrated and fell. Home help and the visiting nurses said “it’s time!”

My beloved is very close to his Mum it’s a beautiful thing to see, I only hope and pray my Star Son and I will be as close when I am old. Over the last few days my sister-in-law who is the hands on person dealing with her Mum would call my Bloke and say “Mum’s bucking it!” and that would be his signal to  call her and chat about whats going on. My Sister-in-law has been amazing and strong but even she started to wear down towards the end. So when we all gathered last Sunday to start to pack for her impending move to the “Retirement home” because Mother-in-law had ever so proudly pointed out “I am NOT going to a nursing home I do not need to go to one of those!” She likes to remind us all about a few years ago when we took her on one of our “date days” my husband and I used to have them monthly and this one time we couldn’t get a baby sitter for Star son so we were taking him, we asked him “Wanna take Tanny (Mother-in-law)  as a double date?” our son was maybe 9 or 10 years old, and he said “Yes!! lets take Tanny” and so we arrived at “The Icehouse” with a small child and an elderly lady who skated every Saturday in her youth and was where she met her Sweetheart Jock. But that was a loooong time ago. So I was really nervous, what if she fell? what if she had a broken hip? how would she live on her own? So as my Bloke laced her into the ice-skates I felt nervous and almost throwing up sick. I held my breath as My Bloke lead her onto the Ice and warned her “Be careful Mum no fancy moves!” he held her hand for a few laps and then he let her go and within seconds she was skating backwards and giggling “See I can still skate!” she crowed.. it was a great day!! I never let go on the rail the whole time and Star Son looked like the little penguin from “Happy Feet” it was a really fun afternoon and she was so excited all the way home to tell all her friends that at 84 or however old she was she could still skate! I went to that “Date day” with a crappy attitude that “Our Date day” was crashed and ruined by a kid and my Mother-in-law but as we got home I realized that it was a fun day and that I need to be less judgmental! My Mother-in-law talked about the “date day” for ages and so gradually we started asking Star Son and Tanny on more date days, then when Star Son didn’t want to come it was us three, we went to the Art Gallery to she the “Claude Monet” and we took her on Christmas picnics with our Red Hat Society Group!

Tanny can remember all of those things.. she can tell you word for word everything that happened that day at the Ice Rink, but she can’t tell you what she ate for breakfast or how to cook fish for dinner. That is the nature of dementia, long-term is great but yesterday is a fog.

Saturday we went armed with suitcases and sorted her clothes, packed them, and her shoes and various photos and a piece of art she painted and loves, some we took away but one suitcase we left there half packed to be finished Wednesday morning when we came to collect her, we had to be at the “Retirement home” between 10 and 10;30am so that she would be settled in by lunch time the powers that be believe that is the right way to do things. So since it was my baby sitting morning we had to take Squishy with us, which I really think was a blessing because she had something else to focus on!

Monday I got a phone call from Sister-in-law saying “Mum’s bucking it, can Rob call and talk to her” So I called him at work and told him “call your Mum she’s not wanting to go” he’s so good and patient and he was on the phone a good half hour with her chatting to her and finally he hung up and said “See you Wednesday Mum at 9;00 am”

So Wednesday, none of us had much sleep on Tuesday night, Rob and I are still sick and trying to get better… his really I think was to do with the stress of this whole situation. My Sister-in-law was sleepless worrying about it all. I know my Bloke hates the thought of “locking her up” but I keep reminding him, here she is safe, someone is making her eat, someone is watching her drink, if she falls she has immediate help. I guess I didn’t have the emotional tie to the situation.

After my first divorce, and the way it tore up the relationship with that Mother-in-law I said “I’ll never let anyone that close to me again!” The first Mother-in-law had been closer to me than my own mother. I had been calling THAT Mother-in-law Mum since I was 18 yrs old and when I split from her Son, she turned on me. I was more upset at loosing her and my father-in-law than loosing my ex husband. in the end we made a truce and spoke plainly to each other, she didn’t want to lose her Grandchildren and I didn’t want them to lose her! so we made friends again, So much so that when I had star son with The Bloke she became his Grandma too. I always felt like the “intruder” in the Bloke’s family, I can understand that of course, Tanny had watched me come into Rob’s like with three small children and then have another one quickly she obviously thought I was a “gold digger” and so it took her until she started getting dementia to like me. But like I said I didn’t care because I wasn’t letting anyone else get close to me. I was over “Mothers”

Suddenly “Date days” and lunches and little outings she must have figured out somewhere along the way maybe I wasn’t too bad. I don’t know or care, because suddenly we were closer and it was lovely. I think the thing that really made a difference was when Rob and I were to become Grand Parents and maybe it brought me a new level of connection with Tanny. We take the babies over to visit her so she can cuddle them and she often says to me with a chuckle “Stop smiling Kim, they are ONLY babies” but they are MY Grandbabies. So we used that weapon yesterday 10.5 month old Chase was our buffer..

When we got there she was asking “Did I know you were coming this morning?” Rob said “Yes Mums we are taking you to the retirement home today” and suddenly the room got heavy, she sits up straight and said “I’m not going!” and Rob said “Yes Mum we talked about this” and she said “Well I know we did but now I’m telling you I am NOT GOING” Uh oh.. this was not going to be so easy, and I was scared to look at Rob to see what he would do next, I made myself busy fussing over Chase. In a space of 5 minutes my beloved had convinced his frail Mother why she had to go and why we were doing to take her and how her chair and clothes and things were already there waiting for her. The Spark went out of her and she was suddenly like a little girl “What about my dog? What about the house? did you tell Mrs so so?” Rob asked about the Blue Suitcase that was half packed in the hallway the other day? Now unpacked and put away in the spare room, she as he raced around repacking that I suggested we go over and visit her neighbor to say Goodbye. I must confess that I have never been so glad to have anyone in the car and ready to go.

When we got there, Sister-in-law and brother-in-law were there waiting, and she was surprised to see them there. We went to her room and unpacked her suitcase and set her room up with her familiar things, the walls are already full of photos of husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But then it was time to leave her and walk away.  Even I felt a bit teary at that even though logically we all know it’s for her best and she’s safe etc etc it’s a hard thing to do. My bloke drove home fighting tears, his hand shook, he had left his “Mums locked up!” I tried to say to him “Dont look at it like she’s locked up it’s not a prison” but she’s always been so independent, It is locking her up.

When Star Son got home from school we went back for a quick visit. I cut all the first roses of the season from my Garden to take to her, the smell in the car was beautiful. we took the flowers to her room, she wasn’t there and so we wandered back to the dining room to see if we could find her. There she sat in the middle of a group of four ladies, happily eating her dessert. She looked up and saw Star Son and squealed, she couldn’t get out of her chair fast enough to hug him, telling her  new-found friends “Ohh! this is my precious family” it was about then that my eyes filled with tears. I hugged her and suggested we wait in the living room while she finished her dinner.. after all we wanted her to eat more so let her get on with it.

She came and found us and sat with her boy, my bloke, my big tough bloke, cried like a baby! as she tried to convince him that he had done the right thing bringing her there, she would be fine she tells him, “When I am settled in.” and then she suggested we go and look at her room, We had been there hours earlier.. “Have you seen how I have my own sitting room?” she asked us.

I hope she slept well and didn’t miss her “Nicky Noodle Nut” too much!



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