Tuesday, November 20, 2007

better day


       A miracle happened and my MIL slept all night.  Rick got a much needed full night sleep.  It makes a huge difference.  But things are definitely getting bad.  She is no longer able to walk very far at all.  Mostly just pivot with help.  Very flat affect.  She rarely talks anymore and is apathetic.   Time is getting close.  I told hospice I will need pads and things for the bed.  Time to move the commode in close to the bed and time for me to take my leave. 

     I talked to Rick about the snapping.  The thing is we have been taking care of my MIL for a very long time.  Not just since she got sick, but since my FIL passed away 7 years ago.  It is amazing what the woman was unable to do. 

    And she can be very difficult to get along with at times.  She is obsessive about things.  Garbage needs to go out a full 24 hours in advance.  When she wants something she want it now.  You will hear about it daily until it is done.  It doesn't matter what you are doing it has to be dropped.  She also doesn't ask out right for anything.  When my children were little and she thought they needed a hair cut it was,  Come here sweetie, let Gramma brush that long hair out of your eyes,  Gee can you see to read with those long bangs.  On and On.   Shoes were the same way.  Oh honey, are those shoes pinching you little feet.  Poor dear.  It would make you crazy.

    But......I told him we had to put those feeling away now.  This was different.  This was getting to the end and in all probability his mom will be gone in less then a week.  Now is not the time to change her lifetime of behavior.  Now she has just enough energy left to do what little she can.  He hung his head.  He realizes that.  He is having a difficult time knowing anytime he might sleep all night and look over to see she has died in her sleep.  It haunts him.  He also is mourning for the brother he will never want to see again.  Basically he is losing the last of his family.

        Me, I would be crying and bawling and talking about it to deal with it.  Rick, he keeps it in and gets snappy.  I lost my mother in 1980.  It was the single most painful experience in my life.  I do know what he is going through.  I ache that I can't help him.  Only time helps.

     So time is getting short.  Betty asked me about the light, what is the light they talk about.  I told her it was the candles on her welcome home cake.  She smiled.

      I was wishing today I was a better person.  A better friend, wife, DIL, nurse.  Do you ever do that.  More even tempered, smarter.  Things more important then being the thinnest or richest.  Thinking about how to do that.  Determined to make a conscious effort to be a better person.  One I can look back at and say, I like that person.  Anyone ever feel that way.  Tired of your shortcomings and ready for change.  Maybe going through this with my MIL is giving me these thoughts.  I am no saint.  But I could be better.


Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I'm trying to reachnine eleven but my phone doesn't have an eleven on it.
Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one
Dispatcher: Yes, ma'am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I'm not stupid.


madcobug said...

I think you are holding out great and so is Rick. Just hang in there, it souds as if it won't be much longer then both of you will be at peace knowing that you did the best you could then went a litle farther. Hope your and his day goes well today. I pray that Betty will feel no pain and will feel at peace. Hugs, Helen

jckfrstross said...

god bless you :)


coelha said...

Hugs for the both of you..  My thoughts are with all three of you.  Julie

nightmaremom said...

awww prayers and strength being sent to all of you.

candlejmr said...

I took care of my dad before he died and all of the things that you describe....I have gone through.  I think that because I have done what you are doing...it makes me so incredibly supportive of all you are going through.  I know how difficult it can be to take care of someone who is dying.  I remember my mom and dad fighting ALOT before dad died...it used to really upset me....but that is how they dealt with the most painful times they have ever been through.  They LOVED each other and the silly, nitpicking fights were just their frustrations coming out.  You are so right that NOW is not the time to try and change your MIL.  I admire you so much for just being able to put those things aside and do what you can to help her leave this world peacefully.  I don't think you need to work much on being a better person....I would say you already ARE!!!


carrotlife said...

(((((Julie)))))  I will be praying that Betty is comfortable and in no pain these last few days. Hard as it is, it is also a great privilege, being with her through this time. I will also be praying for peace for each of you.

kirkbyj05 said...

This is going to be the hardest week for all of you.  Looking after Betty and answering her questions the best way you can, is the only thing you can do for her now.
I have occasionally wondered about my own demise ,since being visited by cancer, and how I would want that to take shape one day far off into the future I hope.  
I would be happy to just have family near holding my hand.  I would not want to let go on my own.  I know we don't all have that choice but it would be a preferred way for me. Knowing that I was not alone.
Betty has certainly been a 'bit of a character'.  By the sound of things a 'woman with her own mind'.  I'm sure one day you will both replay her little foibles from time to time and smile in memory of her after she has gone.  She managed to become quite a unique woman by the way you describe her.  In her own mind she was right.
You have a big heart Julie and even though her time is short and life is gri at the moment you are helping her laugh and accept what has to be.
You are the best daughter-in-law ever!
God Bless.
Jeanie   xxx

xxroxymamaxx said...

I get teary eyed whenever I read this.  just memories come flooding back.   God bless you and Rick and his mom and the rest of the family.  You are doing a wonderful thing taking care of her and you will be blessed for it in the end.  Love, Shelly

jimsulliv3 said...

These are trying times Julie and hopefully there's better times ahead for you and yours. I think overall you've handled things quite well. It's a heavy burden that you carry and my thoughts and prayers are with you.


rbrown6172 said...

yes...i have felt that way...more than once.  my guess is that it's not that uncommon.  i know this is a hard time for you and rick right now.  you are in my prayers.

countrylady4071 said...

I'm so sorry you and Rick are going through so much at this time.  The death of a loved one can bring out all kinds of emotions.  My prayer is that God will give you and Rick comfort in the days ahead.  Take care of you and Rick too.  I know this won't be a Happy Thanksgiving for you, but I hope you will find comfort.

inquestoftruth said...

I suppose we all can see areas in our lives we need to improve...but it's just easier not to!    I don't even like to think about all the areas I fail in...   That was a perfect answer for Betty about the light.    I wish for you and Rick a peaceful Thanksgiving.

cacklinrosie101 said...

Julie, we all could improve and be much better but that's not realistic.  It's when those are nearing the end that we regain our patience with their habits and actions and reflect on our own lives.  I keep your Rick and MIL in my prayers and you also.  I've always wondered about the light also.  Hope you can enjoy your Thanksgiving.  Chris

rdautumnsage said...

Life is a journey forever teaching us lessons about ourselves. We would never learn if we didn't stumble and fall here and there. Don't be so hard on yourself hon, you've had a full plate and done wonderful things with what you had to work with. Continue learning and loving life, you can't do much more than that. Wishing a loving , peaceful holiday and all the days there after! (Hugs) Indigo