Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life..and the losing of it.

The recipe for chutney will appear next post. It's my Mother in Law's, which is kind of fitting as the week has been about her.

If you are looking for quilty content click away now...the most quilting I may get to is some cutting out, therapy almost as good as sewing!

The MIL relationship fascinates me, i see plenty of girls with MIL's I would quite appreciate-who are always on their backs and complaining about them. There seems to be a competitive streak there and it isn't always MIL's fault that the relationship is sour...but then not always the DIL's either.

We could have been doomed to failure, my Dh had lived with her for 40 years, 15 without Dad; we built a house 20 metres from her door..and she had grandchildren my age already! (Hence, I have never called her anything but Grandma!!)

But it has gone quite well. The biggest challenge for me was her attempted kidnapping of my husband on any occasion where I was home even one minute after 12 o'clock lunchtime. THE MAN MUST BE FED!! Don't ever tell her he made his own salad sandwich at home every lunchtime anyway..I would never put enough Mayo on!! She would permanently kidnap him back! Like the owner of the Gingerbread house (in the nicest possible way!!) a full lolly jar, biscuit tin and icy pole freezer has been the lure that meant my kids first steps were normally in the direction of grandma's house.

But grandma was taken off from her house a month ago by ambulance. It was a wet, cold and miserable day, she stayed home from Church and fell sweeping the car port. She says staying home from Church was her mistake, I say her mistakes were; 1. Sweeping the carport-I will never fracture a pelvis doing this at 88, i don't do it now!! 2. Thinking a straw broom is good enough support to sit your walking stick down and 3. getting off the Couch with a bad foot and knee in the first place!!

She had a lovely social time in hospital until last Sunday when she has inexplicably started experiencing the kind of pain the doctors have rarely seen. No painkillers are doing more than hitting the sides and there is no way to stop the suffering.

This is when her life long dedication to her family is reaping it's rewards, her 3 children are taking turns ensuring she is never alone. My Dh has been doing the nights and trying to get some sleep during the day. He had been working up to 21 hour days getting the crop in and now this.

Today I did the afternoon shift with my other non related SIL ( all three siblings were called in last night for what looked like the end) and it is amazing how a relationship changes. She may not have quite spent the last 17 years doing the hallelujah chorus about my existence, but when she reached out and wanted her hand held for hours this afternoon any of that was forgotten.

So I only ask hope that grandma will soon get whatever healing is required.

But there is another aspect to the grandma story. Last night I sat here and played with my recently downloaded Picasa3, i am having fun with that and have solved my photo storage problem by buying a 1 TB External hard drive and installing Picasa there. It is permanently set up on my computer and surely 320,000 photo capacity should take me a while to fill!!

I was trying to find some nice photos of grandma, and herein lies today's lesson.

NO matter what size you are, how many new wrinkles have appeared and how much you wish all the pics looked like they did when you were 18; when you are approached with a camera for goodness sake, pull your shoulders back, stick out your chest and smile!! Then these laughing smiling happy snaps will be the everlasting memory of you. No one will worry about anything else. My MIL hated photos so in the few we have she is making an angry looking face, has her head down or is generally not looking great. You should see our wedding pics, you would think someone was holding a gun to her!! A smile would fix everything! My kids have real memories, but what a pity very few lasting photos.-and none that truly depict the generous Grandma they love.

I'll finish with one photo picasa did find somewhere on my harddrive. I think this explains my kids love for reptiles.....are you looking closely enough to see there isn't just a dog? That's me about 38 years ago...

World according to Tracey......Have a great day and smile in your next photo!! (Do you?)

18 comments:

trashalou said...

Oh poor Grandma. Hoping she is feeling comfortable now. This is the second time in a few weeks I have read this same message. I am endeavouring to fix it. Thank you.

Nancy said...

No matter what, family is family. You'll never regret sitting with Grandma.

Elaine Adair said...

OH my - praying she recovers. That is a sweet tribute to your relationship.

I cannot see what that critter is, in you lap, but it looks kinda lizard-y???

Michele's Quilting Journey said...

I've spent 37 years with your MIL's unknown twin sister. When mine fractured her pelvis, I was the only family member to spend all day, every day for a week in the hospital with her (in another town) and the only one to come every day for the next three weeks in the nursing home (in another town) after that. I helped protect her (and the nurses)when she 'sundowned' and turned into a raving lunatic from the pain meds and wanted to kill her nurses and stop an invisible bomber in her hospital room. I picked daisies from an invisible girl and reached for an invisible purse repeatedly. When she got home again...after holding my hand for a month, I was demoted all over again. She's still alive and we're still as good as it can get...at least I'm the favorite of the 3 DIL ;) but I'll never be a son or the daughter that she always wanted and never had. I know it and she knows it. I sing the hallelujah chorus that at least we're as good as we are now..it used to be so much worse. Growing old is so challenging but helping others with that process is a whole 'nother rosary needing saying!

You did great and deep, down inside 'Grandma' knows it and she loves you, dearly. They just don't quite know how to say it or show it!

Joy McD said...

Praying your dmil will get better and be able to come home soon. It is an interesting relationship we have with them. I often wonder how it will be when I am the mil... I will try very hard to treat them as daughters of my own....

Kim said...

Atta girl! You did good for your MIL. What a brave girl you had to be to marry this womans son, lol, a strong and brave woman indeed. I hope she recovers and perhaps a photo of a smiling grandmother with her grandbabies can be arranged. Good luck. :o) OMG! Is that a snake in your lap? Awck!!

Cascade Lily said...

Well she sounds like a tough nut so I hope she can pull through! What an amazing woman. So true about the smiling though. Photos are so precious as our minds begin to wander! I'm glad you have a great relationship with your MIL...it sounds pretty good from where I'm sitting!

Jelly Wares said...

Tracey this was an amazing post, very touching and so well written.. Here's hoping Grandma pulls through... You're so right about the photo thing, I really must try to take more pics to capture the moment, happy pics... I must admit though now that I have blogland I am making more of an effort to capture those memories...

Take Care
Jodie :)

Calidore said...

I'm keeping Grandma and you and the family in my prayers. I promise I will try to smile at the next photo taken of me - even if I hate having photos taken....sigh.

loulee said...

Thinking of you.

Lori in South Dakota said...

You're doing great, hang in there! I have decided they can take pictures of me, I'll comb my hair and check my clothes for spots, and not worry! Not enough pictures of my mother either, and I often think of that.

Nancy said...

What a wonderful post. I lost my MIL quite a few years ago. She never did tell me whether she thought I was good enough for her son, but my FIL made up for it ten times over... He was wonderful..and I took care of him when he developed brain cancer. He cheated at cards until the very end.LOL
Now....is that a SNAKE in your lap? YIKES!!

Ruth's Place said...

Beautiful post about Grandma.

Is that a blue-tongue lizard in your lap?

I promise to take more pictures of myself and smile in them...

Sweet P said...

I'm so sorry to hear about grandma. I hope the doctors can solve her pain problems. Your post is touching and should be a lesson to all of us. I'll remember to smile when someone takes a photo of me in the future.

Shasta said...

That is a good lesson to learn. People who say they take terrible pictures do wind up taking terrible pictures - because they are trying to avoid the camera.

liz said...

Hi Tracey, that was a lovely post. I'm sorry to hear about MIL sending wishes she gets well soon.
I must confess I'm one of those who hates getting photos taken and what you said really made me stop and think so I will try from now on to make the effort for familys sake because it is important.
I don't think much has changed since you were a child, still surrounded by animals and a caring, happy, nature. The world needs more people like you.
Take care.

MARCIE said...

What a wonderful post Tracey! I appreciate it as a MIL and as a wife and mother!

Carol said...

Firstly I'm sorry to hear your MIL is in pain and I hope she gets a speedy recovery.

As for the world according to Tracey .. yes indeed. None of this putting hands up, oh don't take my photo, I don't have my make up on, hair brushed, decent clothes (add whatever reason you want here). We need to be able to leave a part of ourselves on this good earth for the family that come after us, not just the good photos, but the photos of how we lived, what we were like. That's why scrapbooking is so important to me.

Absolutely gorgeous photograph Tracey.