I was distraught and fed up – something had to change. However, when I cried out to the Lord, He revealed an amazing truth. My MIL is here for me. This is my refining fire. He was not going to change her. The change had to come from me.
When she moved in, we didn’t know about her dementia – we thought her lack of memory was grief related. We moved her in because she couldn’t afford to live on her own after Dad died and we were happy to have her live with us. I envisioned watching Oprah and drinking coffee together or sewing drapes for our new home. Reality is very different. We still have some wonderful chats, but she can’t sew any longer and she has bouts of paranoia. Last January, she began accusing me all sorts of crazy things. It hurt me deeply. I didn’t know if I could live with someone in her condition.
However, God gave me a measure of abundant grace to get through it. Amazingly, as my attitude began to change, she became calmer. We still have our rough days but I am holding to Him and praying that God will make me a blessing to my MIL. I never anticipated that when my nest was empty – it would be filled with care giving, but I have a peace about it.
My friend Tonya has been praying for my MIL’s mind with me. (Ton has such a beautiful, giving heart.) All my friends in the fav-five have been a blessing, just letting me talk. I’ve tried not to vent too much with my own kids as I don’t want their last memories of their Grammy to be about dementia and paranoia. I want them to appreciate the good times we have and I pray that I am able to appreciate them too.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. – 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)