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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

a few unplanned thoughts...




As I sit here writing my MIL, I'm thinking that there are so few people to actually "write to" these days. Used to be that I would sit and write my brother or my sister on occasion and a friend or two.  Now most of my correspondence (not with my siblings as they have both long past) but to others is by emailing or text... which is fine, but not the same. I'm not sure exactly why, but it's not.

The reason I still write my MIL is because she is 96 and doesn't have a computer or smart phone (and probably wouldn't want either). She lives alone and although she recently contemplated going to a 'retirement' or 'assisted living', she changed her mind and decided to stay where she was. I have mixed feelings. In one way I think it best that she stay in her own place.  She's comfortable there, has her cats and plants to take care of... and isn't under the control of nurses, etc. (She does have a visiting Healthcare nurse that stops by) But on the other hand, I sometimes think she might enjoy the company of other women for social activities that are abundant in A. L. facilities. But the fact remains that her mind is still good and she should be able to decide for herself.  Her physical body is failing as she walks with a walker, but even though she has her confused days, most days she is as sharp as ever.

I write her because I like to write and because she likes to get my letters (usually with pictures).  Now lately she has told me that she no longer sees very well, and along with that, her hearing is failing. It's apparent that life is getting more and more difficult for her. She often says that she is 'ready to go'.  I'm never sure how to respond to this, other than to say that she is the only one who can know such a thing. One of her sons lives close by and takes very good care of her.  He has a large family who do check on her and make sure that she has everything she needs. So she is not alone.  Yet, I find her lonely... maybe because she can no longer do the things she loves... getting out of the house on her own, gardening, reading, etc. But I have to respect and admire her strength.  She is one strong lady.

Had no idea what I was going to say here when I sat down to blog.  Seems like our minds go off on tangents of their own sometimes. Truth is this was a pretty nice weekend.  Weather was cool and sunny. DH and I didn't have any particular chores or errands that needed doing. So we kind of drifted off to doing what we wanted when we wanted to.... which is not always possible (even when retired!).  Friday we visited a dear friend who has just gotten home from back surgery. She lives about an hour outside of Dallas.  We brought her a bundt cake and spent the afternoon sitting outside talking.  The rest of the weekend DH watched a bit of football and I did some underglazing of chess pieces.  We did run a few errands and I made a buttermilk pie. That's about it.

Another thought: When I think about the upcoming week, I like to think of one *kind* thing I can do that will make the day or the week better for someone. Nothing big... just something.  It's not much when you think about it and it doesn't have to be for a stranger (although it could).  Even writing a letter, visiting a friend, or baking a pie counts.... see how easy it is. It may not be 'saving the world' or 'curing the planet'.... but I think it helps in some small way. It's like that saying of Mother Theresa who stated that man wasn't meant to do great things, only little things with great love.

Have a good week!








14 comments:

  1. Those acts of kindness don't have to be "big." I think it's the small things that touch our hearts the most. :-)

    Your MIL is 96 and living alone (even surrounded by family who check in)? I think that's pretty brave of her. I'd be divided on that too, though. Some sort of assisted living facility could provide a great deal, though not the comfort and security of one's own home, if one has been in the same house for decades. But yes, as long as she still has her mental faculties, she can decide for herself.

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    1. It's a difficult time... and hard to know what's *right*. There are so many things to consider and everyone's circumstances play into it. But I do agree that if a person is still able to make her own decisions, she should have the freedom to do so. But even so, it's difficult for *any person* to give up that freedom.

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  2. The woman just up the road a couple of houses just turned 100. She lives alone but has children in the area. She is active in church and social circles and just as sharp as ever. Amazing -- like the energizer bunny.

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    1. It is amazing... and wonderful too.

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  3. I exchange letters with an eight year old granddaughter. She says the most extraordinary things, and she loves to get letters. In the mailbox, you know.

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    1. My 12 year old grand daughter and I exchange letters too... and email... and text. When she was young, I'd send her stories by mail that her mom would read to her at night.

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  4. I like the idea of starting out the week with a plan to be kind in some way to some one. Very nice.

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    1. I think we probably all do this in some way in our everyday life... without actively thinking about it. But it's nice to make a plan... There's a poem that I knew as a child called "How to be Happy" and one of the verses was, "Are almost disgusted with life, little man? I'll tell you a wonderful trick. That will bring you contentment if anything can. Do something for somebody, quick!"

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  5. Nice for all to be in the place which is comfortable for them. Writing letters and taking care will give a great joy for the people.

    We should not put lot of pressure to the old peoples. Let them free to do their work happily.
    But need to take care when they want help.

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  6. If you are 96, I think it's all right to be "ready to go." I think about it for myself and know I would be, too. You are are good person, thinking of others. It's nice to read your thought processes, too. Sending you hugs. :-)

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    1. I think about it too... and not sure that I want to get to that age. However, I'll rethink this as the time gets closer...

      And thanks for the hugs. ; )

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  7. I like your unplanned thoughts, Rian and love the thought of planning a good deed for the week. We have the same dilemma with my dear mother-in-law who will be 90 next year. In her case she is physically very well for her age, but mentally not so good, as her memory is failing. She is fiercely independent and I know she will strongly resist any idea of sheltered living, as it's called over here.

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    1. It's a difficult call, Perpetua. Sometimes losing that independence is the beginning of the end.

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