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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
More details on weekend

Yes, it was lovely and peaceful - a tad boring but less so than in years past (in large part because I didn't hole up in the room eating pistachios.)

But there were some difficult moments. Some of it was from my mother-in-law, who wants to believe that less than a month after a major car accident, including a minor leg injury and a slight concussion, she should have fully recovered, because she hasn't. Adding the leg injury to her chronic sciatica, standing around and doing things is *painful* for her. But she does it anyway and the pain makes her temper short, as it would and her store of patience, which is never very large (I can be like that), disappears. We both try to tell her that anyone, even someone much younger than she, would still be having problems - she has surface injuries that haven't healed yet, much less the deep tissue ones we can't see.

And who does she get the most impatient with? Her husband - and that's also based on *fear*. See, she's seen her mother and several beloved aunts go through long declines, and the idea terrifies her. As it should. And my father-in-law...well. His short-term memory has never been good, although his long term memory has always been fine. And as he's aged, it's gotten worse. Add to that the fact that he's hard of hearing in one ear and totally deaf in the other, so everything must be said at least loudly if not actually shouted. He does have a hearing aid, but it's not 100% effective and there's no filtering. And then there's the result of his congestive heart failure last Febuary - it went undiagnosed for a while, as he never complains, so his brain was a bit oxygen starved, and as a result, he's lost long-term memories (distinct memories, not general memory.) Plus, well, there's the accident itself, and the physical and emotional trauma it produced - including his acknowledgement that his driving days were over.

As he said, he's 86. If anything happened, he'd be blamed no matter what.

And he thinks therapy is hogwash, so he won't go to one even if he needs it, as he does. As they do.

So he's more "feather-brained" (his term) than ever. Yesterday, I caught him about to use instant coffee in the percolator. Fortunately, I did so in time for him to take out the instant and put in the ground (which I found for him.) He's made coffee every morning of his married life. And he needs to be reminded constantly. Which means for my frightened and in pain mother-in-law, a lot of angry shouting.

As you can see, he's aware of what's going on with him. He just. Doesn't complain.

These are both wholly remarkable and wonderful people, and I'm not saying this just because I love them. My father-in-law is a musician and a music teacher. He takes pictures (or did before computer photography defeated him), teaches recorder classes despite his hearing problems, learned to lein and lead services in the last 20 years. He's kind and gentle and infinitely patient. My mother-in-law is a devout feminist who obtained an MBA at a time when so few women did so that she got mail addressed to Mr. Swendy (as opposed to Mrs. Wendy). She's active on mailing lists dedicated to diabetes and Jewish cooking, she runs food and clothing drives and thanks to her, bushels of bread are delivered to homeless shelters all over the city. And she learned her Aramaic since I've known her.

And so this weekend was lovely and peaceful and we had a good time, but there was also *this* all through it, and I just pray it gets better.

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Comments
(Anonymous)

*blink*
Your mother-in-law is Wendy Baker?

Yes, my mother is Wendy Baker. And who, pray tell, are you?

Allow me to apologize for my husband. He assumed that "anonymous" meant you were hiding, not that you lacked an LJ or perhaps forgot to log-in.

I would like to know who you are, though, and how you are acquainted with my mother-in-law - sheer curiosity.

(Anonymous)

I do not have a LiveJournal. I have been reading yours for a while. I have read your mother-in-law's RFCJ postings from time to time over the past many years.