The Dementia Diary

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The reason I’m as bitter as lemon today………

on February 1, 2012

Why I am bitter

Because last nights visit was so difficult husband has decided that he’s not seeing his dad today, and to be honest I’m relieved.  It was really tough for me too, I’m glad it’s not me that husband’s upset with (we weren’t talking to each other after the visit) and I need a rest from F i L too.

Before you start jumping up and down saying “You can’t do that. You can’t leave a sick man on his own!” let me make something clear. F i L has 3 sons.  I’ll say that again.

FATHER IN LAW HAS 3 SONS!

This is something he keeps forgetting.

I’m married to No. 2 son.  For the last few years (possibly as many as 8) he has been the only one with regular contact with his dad (apart from me).  When F i L started finding the family home too much to manage on his own we suggested that he might like to move somewhere smaller and easier to manage.  We also suggested that he may like to move closer to one of his sons (we never specified which one) so that as he got older there would be someone on hand to help him.

No. 1 son moved away more than 20 years ago, nearer to his wife’s family, and from that time was a very infrequent visitor to his parents.  These days his reason for not visiting bounces between being too busy (like we’re not!), having commitments with his 3 children at the weekends (like we don’t!) and it’s too far now that F i L’s moved from the family home.  To be fair it is an extra 16 minutes away!!!

F i L was quite emphatic that he didn’t want to live near No. 1 son.  He was afraid he’d be left on his own and I can understand that worry.  So that left a choice of being near No. 2 or No. 3.

No. 3 son lives in a picturesque little town with his wife and 3 young children.  F i L thought that it was very nice but to put it in his words “There’s not enough there for me”.  It was too small, no clubs or places to visit; just too quiet.  Now, No. 3 son works shifts, his wife works part time and they share the child care.  When he has days off he either has the children or, if his wife is also off, this becomes their ‘family’ time.  So when do they see F i L?  Not very often.  Why?  Because if they take their children to his house he tuts and glares at them and it’s unpleasant for the children.  In my house these children are known as ‘The Brats’ because they are spoilt, jump on and wreck furniture and appliances and throw tantrums at the drop of a hat.  I wonder why F i L glares??

So now we’re looking at where No. 2 son (also known as husband) and I live.  It’s a larger town with lots to do, shops, places of interest and public transport. It has clubs too.  Perfect!

So guess where F i L lives?!

Yes, 7 minutes by car from us!

But what he, and No.1 & 3 sons forget, is that they live 1hour 46minutes and 12 minutes drive away from their dad respectively.  That’s not all that far is it?

Yes we’re nearest  (by 5 minutes) but we also have kids and jobs and lives and commitments that we’re juggling.  We don’t have the excuse that it’s too far.  We don’t have the luxury of  ‘family’ days because we’re expected, by the entire family, to be there for F i L. We don’t hide behind our children making them a reason we can’t play our part in helping.  We’re busy but we find time for the important things – our entire family,  not just the relatives that are fun to be around or give us things.

When the day comes that F i L passes away I wonder how quickly they’ll all get to his house to pick over his bones?

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