Team Merlot

When we first met, how could we ever,
Known all the storms we’d have to weather?
I’ve listed them on here before,
At times felt we could take no more,
And yet through each and every trial,
We’ve stood together all the while,
I help you and you help me – so,
Together make up Team Merlot…

In any couple, it makes sense,
To play to one another’s strengths,
So on paperwork I keep an eye,
You do car stuff and DIY,
At teamwork we’ve both got the trick,
Together we all boxes tick,
An unofficial quid pro quo,
Between us both in Team Merlot…

When you sink, I keep you afloat,
When I’m weary, you upon me dote,
Whatever trial, whatever task,
It’s like neither of us has to ask,
For you and me are so aligned,
It’s like we think with just one mind,
Whatever life might at us throw,
We’ll join forces as Team Merlot…

Through seven years we’ve come this far,
We both still bear our battle scars,
Who knows what trials are yet to come?
How it will all end with your mum?
But no matter how wild the weather,
At least we’ll brave the storm together,
Sharing our burden to and fro,
We’ll make it through as Team Merlot…

Two travellers upon life’s road,
Together bearing our shared load,
At times I take more, at times you do,
That’s how we’ll make this journey through,
And if that’s how it has to be,
I’d carry you; you’d carry me,
For we work together – this I know,
We’ll always be a Team Merlot…

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Ups and Downs

Sooooooooo, 48 hours in and dare I say, things are seeming tentatively positive (touching wood as hard as I can as I type).

Positives are that MIL likes the flat, and hasn’t made any noises at all about “going home”. She even made it down to a coffee morning in the shared lounge yesterday, which she really enjoyed, and managed to successfully cook her own dinner on a new oven (we took the opportunity to change to electric hobs – safer all round).

We’ve just had the one blip on Sunday, where MIL knocked on the neighbours saying her phone wasn’t working (it was, of course), but yesterday husband happened to meet them and they were very understanding… OH has been round so often that his face is getting known among the residents, which is also a good thing as it (rightly!) gives the impression that she has supportive family around, and hasn’t just been “dumped” there for them to deal with. Typically charmer that he is – he’s even won over the lady who screamed at him on Sunday for daring to wedge the front door open while we moved the furniture in!

Since then, MIL’s even managed to call from the OwnPhone mobile we bought her as a “back up” to the landline, which is another plus…

As long as we can hopefully “contain” her from going out unaccompanied (think she could get herself into town alright on the bus, but not necessarily back to the flat again), we should be (hopefully!) on track… Carers are coming three times a day for the first week to help cover while she’s in “adjustment” mode, and then depending on how things go we can probably look to scaling back a little according to what her needs turn out to be…

On an unrelated note, it has often been said that I take on too much of the legwork in comparison to OH when it comes to MIL, and I did say I would try to step back a little bit after the move. I’ve successfully managed to leave it to OH so far to do the “popping round” during the week (the fact she’s now so much closer means he can pop round for a cup of tea and a “check in” while I am still on the train back from the city), then he’ll be taking her out tomorrow for a meal, while I instead meet up with my little Alzheimers group up town (the much more fun option!).

Not naive enough to believe there won’t be any further dramas just round the corner, but so far, so good it seems…

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Positive Karma!!!

So my dear old dad – who spent an entire day “mumsitting” for us yesterday and knows full well the score of this weekend – rang me just now and said he’d just seen a fantastic brand-new laptop with great technical specs (he is a teccy expert so trust him there!) on on his favourite price discount website reduced from £360 to £199. Knowing that mine is on its absolute last legs and thinking that I’d probably need cheering up today (too right – bone weary right now!), said would I like him to buy it for me as a sort of dad-initiated “karmic acknowledgement” of what a good human being he’s seen that I’ve been to MIL over the years, but this weekend in particular…?!?

Of course the answer was yes please!! Oh, and thank you!!! :) :) :)

It couldn’t come at a better time either – mine is about as much use as a brick at the moment (slow as hell and charger has had to be duct taped in or it won’t boot up), while last week I accidentally nudged OH’s one off the sofa and it is apparently “beyond economical repair” according to our friendly neighbourhood laptop man.

What a lovely daddy!!! That’s absolutely made my day, that has. He said this should be a lesson that ‘good things happen to good people’, and that while MIL wouldn’t be able to thank us in the same way, this is the universe working through him to pass on the good karma back again!

Am so chuffed – not just cause of the new laptop, but cause I have really and truly have such a lovely dad, who sees and knows all and knows just the right thing to do to put a smile back on our faces!

Just rung OH to tell him the good news – he has just taken his mum for brunch, shopping and round town, and is just heading back to put her pictures up, so there we go, he can cope after all! And he said she had been in a much better frame of mind today – she is talking about where she’d like her pictures and how she’d like to have the coffee table and telly moved around in the place, so she is clearly thinking ahead to her future in the flat, which is music to my ears!

And we’ll be seeing her for dinner again in another few hours – I would normally cook from scratch, but on this occasion I have cheated and bought in a pie and pud. Only so much one can do in a single weekend!

But, all in all, a definite better day today! :) :) :) :)

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Move Update

So breaking with form from usual poetry format – I’m just too tired to put this one to rhyme, but at the same time wanted to update all the well wishers who have expressed such support over the last few weeks!

Sooooooooooooo after ten hours solid of packing / unpacking / attempting to acclimatize MIL to her (seriously lovely) new flat, am now back home – and absolutely emotionally and physically shattered….

While “physical” move went all to plan, it was truly shocking to see “close up” just how bad a state her house had fallen into – just drawer, cupboard, room crammed full of absolute mess and clutter, coated with dust, dirt and dire smell. I’ve been into her house enough times over the years, but it was only today that I realised smack-in-the-face just how bad it had truly gotten… Swear we only moved about 3% of the household contents, and that was still more than plenty – the rest will go to collective house clearance – one man’s trash being another man’s treasure and all that (though in this case, it really IS all trash!)… Only goes to reinforce that we are doing the right thing in taking the burden of maintaining this overly large household off of her shoulders, and moving her to somewhere smaller and more manageable, closer to us, and with more support in place…

MIL’s reaction went about as well as could have been expected – which is not very well at all really, given that her first reaction on seeing the place was to burst into tears, and second was to forget it all ever happened as soon as we set foot back out again over the threshold to take her out for dinner again afterwards… It would have been so much better had we managed to get her in earlier in the day, and not at 5pm when sundowning was already starting to kick in – but realistically there was no other option than for us to pack up and sort all in the course of one day, for all sorts of reasons….

Comparatively speaking, I have bowed out early (as “early” as you can do over ten non-stop hours!) and let OH pick up the flack in terms of staying overnight. On the basis of what we were witnessing this evening, I honestly don’t think that she could have coped for first night without someone there on hand – not while she arrived there already in “sundown” mode – but at the same time that person doesn’t necessarily have to be me! Not when I have already moved literal heaven and earth to get her (not my mum after all…) in there in the first place…

Tomorrow (touch wood!) will be a different matter, as by then she’ll have had the chance to acclimatize over the course of the day (with OH being there when she wakes up and through the morning). I just couldn’t have had her left totally solo tonight – not when by the time we sat down in pub just across the road, she’d forgotten the whole moving in episode entirely… Just too risky.

Very tired, very frazzled, but very touched at the same time. For all that she forgot, she did remember how much we loved her and wanted us to be closer…

Oh, and shout out to my dad! He coped so very admirably for the seven long hours he “mumsat” for us while we were taking care of the physical legwork – testament to that is how often I heard MIL chuckle down the phone those time we caught up by phone during the day….

Arrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NEVER again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tomorrow

The move will be on,
Tomorrow!
Bet your bottom dollar,
That tomorrow,
Won’t be fun…

Just thinking about,
Tomorrow,
Feels me with a sense of fear,
And sorrow,
What’ve we done…?!?

When your stuck with a mum,
In array,
And fretting,
To pacify her I try,
Then cry,
And say…

Oh…

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I dread you tomorrow!
You’re only a day away!!!!!

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Dude – Where’s My Car…?

Remember when MIL was from driving first banned?
How us breaking the news went much better than planned?
Well, the opposite – as I type – is the case today,
For this morning we physically took the car away,
And now she’s in meltdown – has been for hours now,
Husband’s back there trying to calm her somehow…

And who’s the new owner…? Well, that would be me,
Mum-in-law this morning wanted to gift it for free,
I didn’t take up the offer – paid full market value,
It’s was the moral and the legal right thing to do,
She waved me off in it and called out “good luck!”,
Sadly for us though, the memory’s not stuck….

The car has been stolen! And we are the thieves!
Her self-delusion here almost beggars belief,
Insists she’s been driving – yet hasn’t the keys,
They’ve been kept safe all this time by husband and me,
She claims now to the car sale she’s never agreed,
Oh, this is what you get when you do a good deed….

And I am just kicking myself – for how stupid am I,
To think that I could upon her agreement rely,
And yet she seemed so positive – so sure of her mind,
But it’s husband and I who were both utterly blind,
Why didn’t we wait a week the car to remove…???
Out of sight and out of mind after next week’s move…????

And speaking of the move – God, I hope that’s still on,
And that she won’t change mind just cause car is gone,
So much of this move was was based upon trust,
And this all now threatens to lessen hers in us,
This simple purchase has not gone well at all,
Feel like driving this bloody car into a brick wall…

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Rental Rage

I hate you letting agency,
And I hate you landlord!
Your joint incompetence,
Has left me quite floored…

Move has been postponed,
And then postponed again,
You’re dragging your feet,
And it’s proving a pain!!

Tip to the landlord:
If you insist on March date,
Don’t swan off on holiday,
And then leave us to wait…

Tip to letting agency:
Learn to communicate!
You’ve been so inconsistent,
And it’s starting to grate!

We’ve provided all the admin,
Several forms of ID,
Plus proof of income,
And back up rent guarantee…

And yet a rental contract,
Doesn’t seem yet in sight,
It’s been over a month now,
This just doesn’t seem right…

So it won’t be this week now,
Fingers crossed for the next!
Had to rearrange everything,
And am feeling quite vexed…

I know you don’t care,
But well guess what – we do!
In all senses of that word,
You just haven’t a clue!

Moving someone with dementia,
Is already quite enough stress,
Get your a**** in gear please,
And just sort out this mess!!!

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Inappropriate Much…???????

A note to any paid carers reading,
A warning which you should be heeding!
We know this job can’t be a lark,
But you can’t just overstep the mark,
You help mum-in-law, that we both see,
But her main carers are husband and me!

Case in point – moving her to this flat,
Agency has been informed of that,
We asked carers to reassure, placate,
If mum-in-law’s fretting as to moving date,
The answer to her being muddled in her head,
Is NOT to take her to a different flat instead!!!

You took her there and took her round,
This assisting living flat in another town,
Head hitting wall – I could just cry,
Why did you do this??? Why why why????
Cause now MIL thinks she’s going there,
Husband and I now pulling out our hair…

I just don’t know what you were thinking!
On hearing this, our hearts were sinking,
We did not give our permission – never!
Now mum-in-law’s more confused than ever!
As to where in fact she’s moving to,
So much damage to now undo…

This reckless act has now jeopardised,
All the kid glove handling we’d applied,
As a carer, of all people you,
Should know how things like this confuse!
This was really so not your place,
Now this has all blown up in our face…

This act has led to lots of friction,
Was not within your job description!
We pay you to help – please understand,
Not take matters into your own hands,
Appreciate that you’ve expressed regret,
Only hope now mum-in-law will it all forget…

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Countdown…

Move eleven days and counting,
Worries and logistics mounting,
Rental contract still outstanding,
Letting agents being demanding,
So much to sort in the meantime,
Movers, boxes, new phone line,
Tell the neighbours, tell the friends,
List of things never seems to end…

Mother-in-law still seems on side,
With gratitude has often cried,
So appreciative yesterday,
Just hope that it will stay that way!
There’s been confusion to be sure,
Sometimes thinks we’re moving in with her,
Or she with my husband and me,
Not going to happen – clearly!

This move is doing in my brain!
Hope that we can all keep sane,
God knows – I hope it’s the right place,
And it won’t all blow up in our face,
Cause we’ll have to pick up the flack,
But too late – there’s no going back,
All braced for several weeks of pain,
Why are we doing this again…??!?!

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Do It

Do It – two little words written in sprawling hand,
On information sheet detailing move that is planned,
Which mum-in-law has been reading over while alone,
And has come to the same conclusion as us on her own,
And so she keeps calling to say that she agrees!
(For once a phone call we don’t mind to receive!),
Let’s do it! – she says, with triumph in her voice,
Thank God – by herself – she has reached the right choice,
Do It – two little words, which yet both say so much,
God knows, mum-in-law, how you manage to me so touch….

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