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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Mum-in-law’s added a couple of years to her age,
A delusion from which we don’t try to dissuade,
It’s almost become her most recent catchphrase:
I’m eighty, you know – getting on a bit these days…

But she is not eighty – only seventy-eight,
She just two years out, and well – what’s in a date?
It’s a sub-conscious strategy behind which she hides,
Quotes this figure in order to salvage her pride…

Being eighty’s the reason she can no longer drive,
And why she needs the carers in just to survive,
Accepted retirement flat purely on said age grounds,
Says – at this age – she would like us closer around…

You’re doing so well for eighty! – we both of us cry,
Works to our own advantage to collude in this lie,
As it means she’ll accept all the help that we give,
Without having to admit that her mind is a sieve…

If we play the age card, then she’ll always agree,
That she needs to lean a little on husband and me,
So what if the figure is somewhat inflated…?
If it means she’s compliant – well, then we are elated!!

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I don’t believe in fate – as an atheist, I can’t,
It’s sheer chance that it seems our family friend’s aunt,
Lives in same assisted flats – and upon the same floor,
Right down the hall – she’s practically next door!

I don’t believe in fate – I’m a cynic, you see,
Such things occur time to time coincidentally,
Family friend two turns out to know the landlord!
It’s NOT fate – but still, I am utterly floored!

I don’t believe in fate – as a skeptic, I don’t,
Believe in a guiding hand at play here? I won’t!
It just so happens the one rental place to be found,
Is five minutes away in mum-in-law’s own hometown…

Decisions should be made upon logic, not signs,
But how strange that things should unfold along these lines,
More and more of these parallels seem to appear,
Could the universe be trying to tell us something here…??

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Love is blind – but so is trust,
Mum-in-law gives it, cause she must,
Whether or not it has been earned,
Or that good faith has been returned.

She places herself within my hands,
And I wonder if she understands,
How vulnerable she might just be,
If I were an any lesser me…?

Gives me her bank card and her PIN,
And purse with all her ID in,
She barely knows me from Adam,
Yet is trusting in me as a lamb…

Trusting her son – that I could see,
Not why it should extend to me,
Perhaps “emotional memory” means,
She feels this safe on me to lean…

Feel humbled in face of such faith,
Sad that she seems to feel her fate,
Is now with others to dictate,
I pity her this dependent state…

Don’t worry – darling mum-in-law,
Your safe with me for ever more,
Undeserved as this faith may be,
I’ll never break your trust in me…

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Haven’t a Prayer!

Oh Dymphna – patron saint of the mentally ill!
I’m not a Catholic, but am praying to you still,
For a smooth transition to this retirement flat,
For my dear mum-in-law (not forgetting the cat!),
Please let her stay calm – and please keep us calm too!
We’d be grateful for anything here you could do…

Please don’t let her forget that she ever agreed,
Or tell us that we’re both trying to lie and mislead,
Let her recall why she first wanted to relocate,
How she thought living closer to us would be great,
How grateful she was to us for thinking of her,
And for keeping her happy, safe, sound and secure…

She’ll fret more and more as the move day approaches,
As panic upon her muddled mind more encroaches,
Wordless worries her days and her nights ever haunting,
Fair to say mum-in-law finds all such change daunting,
And this she can’t help – that I do understand,
But this I pray – please don’t let it get too out of hand…

I know that the transition will be full of stress,
Sorting out all the logistics and paperwork mess,
And though she herself will need not lift a finger,
Please, Dymphna, don’t let her our own efforts hinder,
Because deep down we know that it’s all for the best,
Please won’t you us three with an easy move bless…?!?

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No Going Back…

It’s done! Rental deposit down!
On retirement flat that we’ve just found,
Moving date set for in four weeks,
Paperwork being done now as we speak,
I’m “project planning” on Excel,
Logistics, admin – whole relocation hell…

Transition period will be hard on all three,
Mother-in-law, husband, me,
Moving house is stressful at any time,
More so when you’re pushing seventy-nine,
We’re prepared for a month of two of pain,
The greater good is yet to gain…

So much to do, so little time,
I’m feeling sick – I need some wine!
Know how much mum-in-law will fret,
At mere thought break into a cold sweat!
Am geared up for inevitable grind,
Just please don’t let her change her mind!!!

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Mother’s Day

On Mothering Sunday we give gifts,
Give our mums a loving hug and kiss,
But this Mother’s Day went differently,
For you gave all the above to me…

Your gifts came in the words you said,
Still now I hear them in my head,
How lost without us you would be,
How glad you were your son had me…

The gifts were in the tears you shed,
Against my shoulder, as I said,
You’re not a pain – please don’t say so,
We both love you – that you must know…

The hug you gave me through those tears,
Will stay with me throughout the years,
And even though you won’t recall,
Still – to me – it said it all…

To depend on us, you have no choice,
Almost never your own feelings voice,
It’s rare you move me in this way,
A Happy, Happy Mother’s Day…

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Twists of Fate

On Sunday it was Mother’s Day,
We turned up with card and big bouquet,
And then took you out for a drive,
To where you spent your early life,
Where you were born, where you were wed,
Where you first wet the baby’s head,
All throughout, you were on cloud nine
Knew each street still after all this time…

We’d an ulterior motive though in that,
We were en route to retirement flat,
Memory lane had you all nicely primed,
Thought it was a lovely plan this time,
The flat you deemed perfectly okay,
Liked that we’re just five minutes away,
You’d love to relocate here – you said,
Gave the whole idea your go ahead…

So strange the one place we could find,
With your own past should be so aligned,
Right next to the pub you used to drink,
Just a tad ironic – don’t you think…?
The house you were born – two streets away,
Could this be fate? So some might say…,
Husband commented – with teary eyes,
That perhaps you’re coming home to die…

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If Only

I’d love to think that you spoke from the heart,
When you ask us a flat search for you now to start,
Each time that we see you, you bring up the theme,
So enthused with this whole retirement flat scheme,
You ask us to find one – ask us time and again,
You’d just love it – but do hate to be such a pain…

I’d love to think you meant it when you said,
That you’d love to move closer to us both instead,
That your house is far too big for you now these days,
You’re lonely there in your village, so out of the way,
The house? We can sell it! The cat? You can take!
It’s a wonderful idea – and you just cannot wait…

I’d love to think at the time it was true,
You sound so sure in yourself when you speak as you do,
As if – despite dementia – you know your own mind,
And husband, you and I are for once all aligned,
You sound grateful and glad – and not in any doubt,
That we should for a flat for you now scout about…

My heart breaks when you hug me and take up my hand,
Thank me so much for this lovely idea that we’ve planned,
I wish I could trust that’s what you really mean,
That you wouldn’t do a complete u-turn in between,
Each time I always treasure these words that you say,
If only you could remember it all the next day…

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