This weekend we traveled up North to visit the family for Easter. (Ostern ferien)
It was the very first time with our Son's girlfriend in tow. Though, they are only 15, he is quite the mature young man. Proof positive that having a great role model pays off. He is very affectionate and attentive, opening the car door, hanging her jacket, getting her food, carrying her bags and introducing her to the family. My heart swells with pride and love.
During this family gathering, there were several side meetings to discuss the Grandparents. (Eltern - Oma und Opa, Nona e Nono) We arrived on Friday and the day before, my MIL attacked her live in assistance, screaming things that I could never envision from these sweet, Italian Lady. She refuses the help and dislikes this very kind woman. Maybe, she reminds Nona of someone in her past, a threat to her marriage. The Dementia is getting worse. Nono is still on top of his game, but seems to get 'tougher' with age. Most likely, he is complaining to wife about this lady, getting her to dislike her. But, why? Now that she is gone, he will have more work on his hands. AND, it shows.
The discussions are for the immediate family members, as it should be. I am a daughter in law. I help when I am around, by cooking, cleaning and what ever else needs to be done. But, these decisions are to be made by the children. I am shocked that they have not taken the auto away from Nono. He has tickets for speeding (20km or more) and running a light. Locals at the gas station let us know that he puts the auto in first, while burning rubber. I know, that it is easy for me to say 'hey, it is time'. They are his children and he is their father, a tough one at that. I am not sure what they are waiting for or is it that when you have many children, they are waiting for one to step forward and take over. That is not happening. Two live further away. One daughter lives close by, but works many hours and has a son in competitive soccer. One daughter is too close, as she is the main caregiver. She can not be objective and I feel has too much stress to make healthy decisions. Two other sons live close by, but are busy with their families.
Now, he is taking care of his wife and their 18 year old dog. I cooked and cleaned, Friday and Saturday, while Nono ate and passed out from exhaustion. He doesn't want help from strangers and will continue to sabotage any efforts. He is angry. He has no patience with Nona. And, I feel that it is none of my business. So, I lend my support, love and understanding. This is a difficulty that many experience. When you add different cultures, languages, it seems the solution is not so easy to obtain. I have explained to my husband, that they are no longer dealing with their parents, as they have always seen them. They must understand that their Parents are no longer of healthy mind..... No matter what language I say it in, it is not sinking in with all or it's the 'Yes, we know', while doing nothing, making no plan, no decisions. We have other Sisters / Brothers in Law lending their suggestions and it seems we are great at talk, but not action.
I am a doer. I say what I am going to do and I do it. If there is a problem, I fix it or do what I can to make it better. Will I see my Mother changing and understand that she is no longer of healthy mind. Will I make those decisions that I am suggesting to my Husband's family. Will I be lost, refusing to see the truth. Will I take the keys away. I know that feelings override our decisions.
Sunday, I cooked a huge meal of Pasta Vongole, Kartoffeln Brat, PutenSchnitzel mit Jägersauce (Jägerschnitzel) und Salat. It was a beautiful day, watching the youth enjoy time with the Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and even their own Parents. At the same time, I realized that these days are coming to an end. I love these people. I love this life. I feel the changes.
The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.
(thank you for reading my Monday Writing piece.... as, it was difficult to write through my physical pain and brain fog. I refuse to sit back and not do that which gives me great enjoyment)