Friday, June 22, 2012
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Last week was moving “day” for a certain
in-law. Let me just say that despite
having to be in a bouncing Budget 16’ U-Haul for 500 miles-both my husband and
I were happy to do it.
Thanks to our son, who started the “ball”
rolling, my husband’s mother is now the “property” of my sister-in-law. She’s in a brand new HUD apartment. It’s a small 44 unit complex filled with 43
other residents who also are very broke.
The apartment is ADA approved.
Meaning it has grab bars all over the bathroom and an emergency pull in
both that and the bedroom.
They have a community room with a couple
of recumbent bikes and a self-made library.
For some reason, even though the halls have a/c-the units do not, but
there are fans in the bedroom and living area.
This move was necessary on several
levels: she had burned every “bridge”
there was here, the rent in this area (even though it was government
subsidized) was too high and my husband really needed to not have the stress
she was providing on a daily and hourly basis.
My sister-in-law didn’t realize just how problematic
her mother’s personality was until she found herself using the word “NO” a lot
and within a mere 6 hours of her arrival.
“It’s now my new favorite word-I see I’m going to be using it a
lot. I had no idea.”
By the time she and our brother-in-law
took us to the airport 3 days later, both were thanking my husband for all he
had done, what he had been through the last 16 years and realized that it
really was their turn at dealing with her antics and extreme personality
When we were celebrating Father’s Day with
my side of the family, we were showing a couple of pictures of a winery we
toured. Mother-in-law was in a couple of
pictures and our son said, “Look Dad is smiling and now it’s my aunt who has
the tense anxiety ridden grin on her face.”
Our daughter-in-law commented that “Dad,
you’re looking about 10 years younger!”
And it’s sad. Not that my
husband’s face has a long lost ease to it-that’s the wonderful part. The sad part is that his mother will never
admit that she burned so many bridges and that everyone feels that this move
was so very needed and welcomed.
In spite of it all-I’m hoping that this
clean slate will afford her a new start and she won’t do the same things there
that she did here. But at 83, I doubt
it. First you have to admit that you
didn’t behave as well as you should have and want to NOT repeat the
errors. If you think you’re perfect and
it’s the rest of the world who had the problem, then history will repeat
We did have some fun. We found this little town called
Buttonwillow, which was about 1/3 of the way into our trip. It had two Motel 6’s for some reason. It also had a couple of other motels, 5 fast
food joints and two restaurants. We
stayed at a pretty nice Motel 6 and asked where to eat. The manager said to go to the BBQ place
across the street.
It was pretty retro in décor-but the food
was excellent! We went back for
breakfast and then we went on with the drive.
In Santa Rosa, my sister-in-law booked us
into a cute and very retro motel. There
was an excellent restaurant attached to it with an interesting and very foodie
menu. We also had dinner at a nice
Italian place and a breakfast at a restaurant that was featured on Diners,
Drive-ins and Dives. There was another
restaurant we ate in that was also very good.
One dinner we ate at my sister-in-law’s.
Knowing she was tired, we suggested chicken from Costco.
Guess what? They shop at this bulk warehouse, but had
never had the rotisserie chicken! Once
they tried it-they were hooked.
Now that we’re back, Steve has several
“pins” to stick in his birthday restaurant board that our son and
daughter-in-law made for him. He has a
notebook to write the names and places as well.
When pressed by his mother as to when he
was coming back or when she was coming to visit, it was my husband who said,
“I’m not sure. We have no idea what
we’ll be able to afford and remember, we have our daughter and grandkids that
come first on our list of who we visit and who visits us.”
What I find to be the saddest part? No one will be questioning us as to when
they’ll see her next.
Makes me think-am I like this? I’d better check this out now and make
amends. I don’t want either of my children
to feel this way about me.