Sunday, January 22, 2012


The time has come to make a change; not one that I expected at this point in our lives but one that we now feel is necessary. 

We are having Marc's mother move into our home.

Marc's dad passed away over two years ago and it was a huge blow to my mother in law, who had only known life in their home or the one that she grew up in.  She had never been alone and the last few years she had become my father in law's full time caregiver.  He had advanced diabetes that ate away at his body until his demise. 

I knew that losing him would be huge...where would her purpose in life come from?  She had no social, creative or work outlets at all.  Al was her only purpose!

Over the course of the following year or so, she had some additional setbacks and then the final blow...the loss of her baby brother Howard.  Howard was the her touchstone and the person that she had continual contact with every day of her life.  After his sudden passing, we began to see her slip further into sadness and depression.  We asked her to sell her home and move closer but she would not agree.  We felt so powerless.  She lives about an hour north of us and with both of us working and with all of our other responsibilities, it became very problematic to get to her as much as she needed.  To further complicate matters, she does not drive at all.  

We would bring her to us for a few days at a time to visit and she always seemed to perk up around the DD but once back in  her own surroundings she backslid again.

Finally, a few months ago, she agreed to place her villa up for sale!!  We were thrilled and I began the process of trying to market it for a quick sale in a down market.  A couple of months and a few offers later, the right offer came in and she signed.  We immediately set about the task of finding her a condo close to our home and we were successful almost immediately!  We found a beautiful apartment in a condominium with lots of amenities and transportation to doctors and shopping.  Since we would only be 3 miles away, we could run back and forth to visit and help much more.  A offer was made and after some negotiation I was able to get the contract executed.  All seemed rosy for awhile but then....well, not so much!

Over the course of the next few weeks and as we prepared for the move, I began to see signs of her depression worsening and the loss of weight on her already extremely petite frame was shocking.  The final straw came when we went up to see her about a week ago.  There was no way to deny it...this move was too much for her to handle.

That evening I approached Marc and explored the idea of having her move in with us.  I think he was relieved that I came to him with the idea.  I don't think that he wanted to rock my world any more than it has been rocked lately and so he had tried to avoid this decision.  There was no way that either of us could deny the fact that she would need to move in with us.  We agreed that it would be the best for her and that it was the only way that we would see her make a come back from all of this loss.

We approached her with this idea and she very thankfully and wholeheartedly agreed.  We discussed some of the logistics, including where she would stay (the kids Playroom) and some of the parameters of this new living arrangement.  She perked up immediately.
Today, we went up to see her.  We need to finalize everything and do some errands for her.  We made the decision a final one and have decided to cancel the purchase which was contingent on her sale.  Thankfully, the sale has been delayed for a bit due to some other issues so this is still possible.

I am a bit nervous about this huge life change for our family.  The DD are besides themselves with happiness.  They would much rather have a grandparent living with them then to have a playroom.  They are happily making plans for the big day when she moves in.

I am happy that we can offer her a new lease on life but am am quite honestly a little rocked about the loss of privacy and another voice in my home.  My mother in law is not prone to interfering but no matter what, there will be adjustments; on all of our parts.

I know in my heart that we are doing the right thing and that everything else will fall into place.  There is a quote that I remember hearing some time back and it really fits here:

"To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there."

I know that I cannot live my life any other way.


Vivian M said...

I think you are doing the right thing, and that it will be a huge blessing for your kids as well. It is not uncommon in other countries for elderly parents to live with their children's new families. And not only will it give her a purpose (help you around the house or with the kids) but you all will benefit as well.
I am sure you will handle anything that comes up gracefully without wagging your finger and saying "my house, my rules". ;o) It is so hard to become your parents' parent, their caregiver, and watch someone you depended on now depend on you. But I am sure she can still teach you a thing or two!
Huge hugs all around!

Tammie said...

What a wonderful idea! I'm a big believer in having an extended family living situation. My grandmother lived with us from the time we moved to FL till she passed away.

Katie Starr & Ethan are very lucky to have a grandparent living with them. Brenda will blossom also.

Yay for all of you!

Michelle said...

What an amazing opportunity for all of you! I lived very close to my grandma about a mile away for most of my childhood. It was awesome, she was always at our house or we would stop at hers. Oh the wonderful Grandma things she taught me. When we moved, it upset her more than we realized.

Enjoy the time!

M and M Girls said...

Not too many years after my dad died my mom came to live with me. Maggie was about 2 when we made the decision for her to come live with us. It has all worked out. Yes, you (plural) lose some but gain more than you can ever lose in my opinion. My daughters are incredibly clase to my mom as she is with them. Yes, there are bumps but the not they are nearly predictable. Best wishes. You have made the only decision as you so perfectly stated.

Allison said...

My MIL moved in with us about a year and a half ago and yes, there have been some major growing pains. It's been a hard adjustment at times, but as you said, I cannot live my life another way right now. If you ever want to email about the struggles with having a 3 generation home, please let me know. I understand.