I love and deeply respect my 82-year old mother-in-law. From the very beginning, our relationship was a friendship. We are close friends. We can talk about anything. I am often her sounding board and have never betrayed her trust. I can be honest with her because, after all, she is not my mom. She is my friend.
After Michael's youngest brother died a few years ago, Mary moved into a mobile home owned by her older sister and has been renting a bedroom. It has not been easy. It has become a very difficult situation. Recently, Michael's sister has been trying to find alternative housing for Mary in two counties but no one is accepting application. As of Friday, Mary decided to try to stay positive and try to live in the somewhat hostile situation.
The phone rang on Sunday. It was Mary. Her daughter Debbie in Tennessee had invited her to move there, rent a house together and live happily, ever after. Debbie is the person in the family who totally understands Mary emotionally and spiritually. Anna, her other daughter, is fantastic with the facts and her needs and the "blood and guts." Debbie is the soft place to fall.
Mary was conflicted. I asked her if she enjoyed the two weeks she stayed with Debbie, her daughter Valarie and her grandson Josh when she visited last year. She loved being there. I asked several more questions then the final one, "What is the negative? What is the downside?" With a pause, she replied, "I can't think of one." I laughed and said, "I think you just made a decision!" She said, "I guess I did!" And with that, she phoned Debbie right back to tell her she was moving!
The back story is that Valarie and her fantastic long-term boyfriend are moving in together, will include her 18-year old son Josh but the boyfriend was a bit nervous to also including a mother-in-law into the mix. At least he was honest! And really, he is a good guy. So, Debbie was going to be alone, knew her mom was having problems in her current situation and saw a solution for everyone. A win-win.
There are lots of details to figure out, which will probably be handled by Anna. I think we will all sleep a bit better each night knowing Mary is in a loving home with her daughter.