Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Seamstress

The Seamstress , my mother-in-love (*see note) , went and spent a week with her daughter, the Matriarch. They live about 35 minutes away. Things at our Castello was quiet and relaxing. Which is something that it hasn't been, since the Seamstress moved in, in late July.

Things around here have a been a little tense. The Seamstress is refusing to get involved and do things. All she wants to do is stay home. She doesn't speak enough English to get involved with the senior citizens of our church. There are a few Hispanics that attend the functions, but she is not wanting to participate. She sits out by the pool and stares at the sky. I've tried to get her to help out Daughter of the King in our church's quilting ministry. She doesn't want to do that. Since we are a homeschooling family, we are home more than the average family. But, my children, those that are still homeschooled, are busy throughout the day with school work. Those that attend college are often not home and if they are, they are busy with school work too. There is also the language barrier between our children and the Seamstress. My children understand a little bit of Spanish, but they don't speak it. I know, it's our fault. When they were younger, we use to speak Spanish when we didn't want our children to know what we were talking about. I know that they are now paying the price. It's to their advantage to be bilingual. We dropped the ball. But even so, we try to get her to do things, but she won't have anything to do with it.

My mother-in-love has never learned to be content where she's at. When she lived in South Florida, she was bored. She would tell us, that all the family did was complained all the time. During the week she would stay at her home and not go out anywhere. On the weekends, she would go and stay with family and visit with friends. She would say she's bored, but refused to get involved in groups gatherings. She makes no effort to keep herself busy or to get together with friends. She doesn't know how to entertain herself. She looks to others to entertain her. But even so, when we try to encourage her to go places or take her to functions, she declines. At times she even gets aggressive with us. In her own way, she has always been loving. But at the same time, she has always been negative, prejudice and very critical.

My children and I are having a hard time dealing with all this. Yes, I grew up in a home where my mom was a verbal, mental & physical (not like what you hear about these days) abuser and very critical. But my children did not grow up in a home like that. We are all about encouraging, edifying, loving, joking, hugging and kissing. I know this has not been easy for my Knight either. He loves his mom and is doing right by her.

My parents live in South Florida. They are both retired, but have a part time job. They transport patients to and from doctor's appointments. They keep busy and enjoy their job. They have come to visit us three times since July. During their visits, we have noticed that the Seamstress changes. She becomes more active. She participates in the activities. She converses more (my parents are Hispanic, but they speak English well). She doesn't get bored. She laughs and she has a good time. But this only happens when my family visits. The rest of the time, she regresses and goes back to her normal self.

During my parent's visit, my mom shared with me that back home, she gets together with people of her peer. They play cards and bingo every Thursday and Friday. One day a week their church has game day. They arrive mid morning. They play games, have lunch and fellowship. Then they are given dinner to take home. My dad doesn't participate, he keeps busy in other ways. I also remember when my Abuela Caky was alive, a bus would come pick her up and she would be taken to a another church who offered the same thing my mom's church offers. My Abuela looked forward to attending game day.

Since we noticed the difference when my folks visit, we have looked into finding a group who has activities for the elderly. She won't participate in our church's group. She says she doesn't know anyone and she doesn't speak English well enough. Even though we told her some Hispanics attend and we would stay with her until she feels comfortable attending on her own, she refuses to participate. So we looked for groups in our area. There is non for Hispanics. Not even in the neighboring towns.

It does not help her to be idle. We are trying to keep her active. I showed her how to play Sudoku and she is doing well with it. I also got her a word search and she does that too, even though she doesn't know what the words are. But at least she's looking for the words. We live on 5 acres. We have plenty of room to keep a garden. She says, she's going to start one. But every time I say lets get a garden started or work on the ones we have now, she gives and excuse and says no.

The Matriarch and the Fortune-Hunter have already said, that she can not stay with them. She can visit, but not live with them. The Seamstress lived with them for 9 years (1996-2005) and they want privacy. In one conversation the Matriarch had with me, she said, "My blood pressure has gone down since she left. I can't stand it when she sits there and just stares at me. It unnerves me." I found that interesting. During the time she lived with them, they lived in a 4000+ square foot home. The Seamstress had her own mother-in-love quarters. She had her own kitchen/dinning area, living room and bedroom. According to her (the Matriarch and the Fortune-Hunter say different), she kept pretty much to herself. She would help the cleaning lady keep up with the home. She would also cook every now and then. During that time, she was able to drive, but never went out anywhere, other than church on Sunday's, groceries and the bank. She made no effort to visit with friends. They lived in a very nice closed gated community, but she never went for walks.

The Seamstress is living with us because she is no longer able to live on her own. She has dementia. She has trouble keeping up with her medications. She gets easily frazzled, so we keep things as stress free as possible for her. She is no longer able to drive. We have also noticed that she at times, doesn't tell the truth. Even though we've witnessed things, she outright, tells us different. The doctor says the dementia is not too bad. She does not have Alzheimer. He told us that, the dementia is just part of getting old. She is now 80. She remembers well, it just that she has trouble when it comes to taking her medications and remembering little things. We did purchase a pill box which has am, lunch, pm, bedtime, 7 days a week compartment. She is easily influenced, so she has to be guided when she has to make choices.

We have been praying for guidance ourselves. Scripture tells us to honor our parents. But, more and more we see that she needs something more than just us. She needs to be around her peers. Not just age wise, but culture wise too. The road ahead is not an easy one, but then again God never promised it would be easy. We would greatly appreciate your prayers. I have faith that God will see us all through this. His Word says so.

*note: When I say mother-in-love, it's because I'm speaking life into it. It is best explained here.


The Atavist said...

We had both my mother and my mother-in-law living with us, both individually and for a while at the same time. I know how tough it can be. Good luck to you and I hope that it all works out.

Lady G~ said...

Thank you Atavist. We are praying for God's guidance, mercy and grace. I know He will be with us every step of the way.