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MIL Ruth and her good adviceDear Diary,

My day started off in kind of a bizzaro way this morning. I had a feeling something was definitely up when I called granny Marnie (electric scooter bound girl) to do one of our multi-daily chats and she was acting really overly nice. I don’t know why I didn’t question it the moment it started. Nooooo. I just chalked it up to some natural ripening that can come with aging (overnight?) whereby the person in question becomes a bit more humbled by life and the heart becomes slightly enlarged. Though not TOO enlarged, as that would be cause to call 911 which we must avoid at all costs. There was just some nice softening in her tone and I was really enjoying it. So much so.. that I began to open up to Marnie about deep and meaningful events occurring in my own life. I DO know better than that..but her compassionate tone and grandmotherly demeanor brought out a feeling that I could tell her anything. OH. YES. I. DID. Yup..that too.

I have these same moments with my mother-in-law Ruth. Never mind that she has dementia..I can tell her anything and she really takes it all in and always has the perfect response for everything.

ME: I don’t know why Marnie always has to ask if I get paid for my blog?

RUTH: That’s how we just are when we get older.

ME: Hmmm.. But why would she expect that I would need to be paid for EVERYTHING I do?

RUTH: know..that’s how we get when we get older.

ME: Yeah. You could be right. Money becomes even more important when you age for “that” feeling of security.

RUTH: That’s right. See what happens when we get older?

I really feel deeply understood by my MIL. She can totally relate to what I’m saying.

ME: Are you hungry? Should we go get some lunch?

RUTH: That’s right. That’s just what happens when you get..

I call Marnie’s place at KillJoy Assisted Living every day before I go over. I don’t want to just barge in and risk walking in at some awkward moment. Who knows what could be going on between her and Papa George. I once came over in the middle of a heated argument about why Marnie must always turn down the volume on the television from “unbelievably eardrum shattering” to “hearing loss guaranteed or your money back”. I suddenly notice as I’m standing there— that I have begun to sweat perspire. It’s crazy hot in here! I’m thinking these two are suffering from heat prostation and not even know it.
“What temperature do you have the thermostat at anyway?” I blurt out.

It’s my diversionary tactic. While they focus on me and my mindless ramblings.. they will totally FORGET what they were arguing about in the first place. Works EVERY time. I have a little peek at the gauge on the wall and no surprise here..85 degrees. Nice. Balmy is good. It helps open the pores, thus releasing all those pent up..toxins. Not the best focal point.. I come to find out. Marnie I guess,  has a tendency to enjoy a more moderate climate of 70-75 degrees, while George likes the Sahara Desert feel.

I think this was one of the most connected conversations I’ve had with Marnie in a long time. For twenty or so minutes we went deeply into family; the joys of motherhood and importance of family—of being connected.

MARNIE: Dear— would you and the kids like to come for dinner tonight?

This was weird. Marnie had already asked me this same question yesterday and I had to decline because my kids elementary school was doing a Western Hoedown gig and I thought we should do something with people under the age of eighty for a change.

MARNIE: Well..we’ll do it another time. How’s Josie feeling?


ME: How’s J-O-S-I-E?

Let me just tell you for a split second here– who JOSIE is. Josie is my SISTERS child. That’s right. You heard me correctly. It stands to reason that if Marnie is asking ME how Josie is.. Marnie thinks she’s speaking to..


ME: Marnie. Do you know who this is?

There you have it. Poof! Illusion up in noxious gas. The minute Marnie found out it was me..the memories of my recent “refrigerator clean out” came flooding back; recognizable by the sudden change of tone in her voice.

MARNIE: Oh A-d-r-i-e-n-n-e (long sigh). How are you dear? Make any money on your blog yet? Too bad THEY don’t pay you for that.

THEY. Who’s they?

My Sandwich Generation bread stuffers..why do we do this? It’s most certainly NOT for the monetary compensation..Peh. We know from our own experience, that our payment is on the heart level and not the bootie level where the pocket book doth lie. But..that being said..if Marnie wants to start compensating me for my time, she may need to hit the pavement with a resume in hand because the price of eldercare givers like us is..priceless.



Posted in Uncategorized 15 years, 1 month ago at 10:30 pm.


4 Replies

  1. Hilarious! I once had a 10 minute phone conversation with my dad where he seemed to think I was one of his GIRLFRIENDS. Let’s just say…VERY awkward.

    I identify myself right up front every time now.

    Old people can be very funny.

    Even funnier if you’re not the one in charge of them. :)

  2. Adrienne May 30th 2009

    Oh yes Sandwiched! Quite funny indeed when they don’t BELONG to you! I’m sure my own children will be even more entertained when they’re taking care of ME when the time comes;)

    Thanky much for the comment!

  3. If i ever get out that way would love to meet yall! keep writing!

  4. Adrienne May 31st 2009

    Thank you Jill! Wishing you all the very best!