March 16, 2005
Taking Care of Family
Finally! Finally, I have convinced A's mom to let me help. I know I've mentioned in the past that A's dad has congestive heart failure (severe case). Well, his CHF preevnts him from doing ordinary things like walking to the mailbox without being incredibly winded (maybe 20 feet from their door?). So, this also means that he is unable to help with other daily chores. And is not really working much these days since he is so wiped out.

While my MIL is not expected to do her job (she is a full-time volunteer) and his (he has the only paid position in the ministry they are part of, since he is a dr. and the director and all), she no doubt feels some obligation to do as much of his job as possible (especially since he is still being paid for his job). Add to that she has to do her stuff at home plus the things he used to do like take the trash out and do the dishes (they have a housekeeper that comes and cleans every couple weeks, so she doesn't have to vacuum or dust or mop, unless there is a spill).

And add on top of that both of her parents are making crazy decisions and not really doing any kind of job taking care of themselves. And now her father can't/won't drive so she is now responsible for taking them to the doctor and a million other details.

Well, for weeks, I keep offering to come and get groceries and make easy heat & eat meals for the grandparents. They say no. MIL says no. They don't want to inconvenience me - it is, after all, a one hour trip to get there - and "well, the girls just don't need to be making that trip all the time - that is too much time for them to spend in the car". And while I do agree about it being a lot of time to spend sitting on their butts, what in the he(( did we move here for? It certainly wasn't because A found his dream job. It was because he found a decent job that allowed us to be an hour from our family.

So, last night I was talking to MIL and she admitted to me that she is pretty upset that her brother is trying to convince their parents to move in with them (the tricky part is that he and his wife live in MS and they would need to buy a house in FL and move - and they are not financially in a position to do that right now. So, the parents would buy the house for the 4 of them to live in. Oh, and let's not forget the most upsetting part of all of this is the house would be 2.5 hours from the rest of us. So, not only does the son want his parents to fund his own retirement house, but he wants them to move a full 2.5 hours away from the rest of the family that is here.) So, seeing as how MIL's brother flies in tomorrow to discuss with the parents their plans for the future I thought I'd remind them today why they should stay in this area. They love seeing the girls. They love seeing A. I think they even really like seeing me, who makes them delicious goodies and food.

So, I told MIL last night that whether she wants to admit it or not, she needs help. And we didn't move here not to be helping when we're needed. So, the new plan is that I will be responsible for the bulk of the grandparents grocery shopping. And I will also make several meals a week that they can easily pop in the microwave for dinner. This will give them an opportunity to have the girls around regularly (the plan for now is for me to go there once a week) and with any luck, we will be able to convince them what they really need is assisted living (where there are nurses on hand when needed and someone would check on them every day.) Because even though we feel the brother and his wife have good intentions to take care of them, it is really to the point that they need to have nursing care available. One of A's and my fears is that if they buy a house to live with their son and his wife, their money will be tied up in the house and there won't be money to pay for the inevitable need of nursing care.

So, please, if you have any recipes that freeze well and are highly nutritious, point me in the right direction. I figure I can just double what I make for my own family a few nights a week to have things to take for the great-grandparents.

Until next time, may God's peace and mercy be felt in your heart today.
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