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I've posted before about in-law care-giving. Aged mother in law, lives in same town.


We are at the tail end of a visit from sister in law from several states away. Sister in law has been here for 3 weeks caring for her mother. A much welcome respite.


It had been discussed, prior to her arrival here on the scene, she would be talking it over with her mother, to try and get her mom to come up to her home, for a stay of maybe a few months.


This, in my opinion, is absolutely essential, as I am expecting twin grand-children, due in about 1 month (if they don't come sooner, as is the case a lot of times with multiples pregnancies). The expectant mother also lives locally here, and has a 4 year old daughter. I will be on that front, helping .. as much as is needed. And not on the front with mother in law and care-giving, and have made that as obvious and apparent as I know how to make it. It would be great if mother in law would agree to go to her daughter's home (several states away) for a period of a few months .. and allow me the latitude to put my energies where I want them to be, on my daughter who will have had a c-section .. and my grand-daughter (4 years old) and new twin babies.


Nothing doing. Mother in law has dug in her heels, and will not hear of it, going to stay with her daughter for any period of time.


What are her reasons?


In mother in law's defense ... her daughter ... I don't even know how to describe it. I will say that when her daughter comes here to visit, she all but breathes for her mother and if she could find a way to do that, she'd do that too. She is the most nervous nelly, never sit down - ever ... worry wart, do everything, all the time .. person that I've ever encountered.


A great example, as I was taking her to the airport yesterday for her departure, . I reached into the fridge to grab myself a bottled water and shut the fridge and turned to walk away, as I've done for all of my 50 plus years living on this earth .. and she said to me, "Oh make sure that fridge shut". WTH???? Like I don't know how to shut a fridge? That's just a small, very small slice of what she is ... how she is.


She is so very hyper-vigilant, seeing to every minute details down to it's finest most minuscule point, fine tooth comb, questioning every point along the way, "should we do thus and so, but maybe if we do thus and so, then such and such will happen, maybe we should do it thus and so .. but then so and so might happen, maybe we shouldn't do thus and so, but do "x" "y" and "z" instead, but if we don't do it that way then ..........", on and on and on and on it goes. And usually in hyper warp speed, as to every single friggin thing.


If her mother moans .. "what's wrong mother?, why did you moan, are you alright?".


Mother: "Yes, I'm fine, I was just sighing out loud".


Sister: "Why did you sigh? Are you hurting, are you sure you're alright, why are you sighing what's the matter?"


Mother: "For God's sake __________________, I was just sighing, .. calm down, I'm fine".


Sister: "Are you sure, .. because if something is wrong you need to tell me".


Mother: "Everything is fine, I'm fine".


Sister: "Are you sure, we did a lot yesterday, did we do too much, maybe we shouldn't of gone to two doctors in one day .. was that too much for you, are you too tired now, maybe we need to move those other doctor appointments so we won't have two in one day, is that too much for you, for one day .. is that why you were sighing .. what's wrong, are you sure you're alright".


Hopefully that kinda gives a little bit of a snapshot of what goes on when sister is in the ring directing things.


So in mother in law's defense.. I do get it, why she wouldn't be chomping at the bit to go to her daughter's home.


BUT ....


The only experience she has with her daughter, in the last years as mother in law has aged and been unable to go anywhere much, has been the daughter coming here, periodically, for periods of about 3 weeks at a stretch. When her daughter comes here, she moves heaven and earth for her mother and then some, and doesn't sit down, doesn't stop .. the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME.


Is there a possibility maybe (as I said to mother in law, when she expressed that isn't happening - talking to me - her going to her daughters .. ever) .. could it be possible that maybe if you would go to where she lives .. she'd be more busy managing her own life in that setting than your's and she would get out of your backside .. and not be as hyper-drive-vigilant as you experience in her, when she's here, could that be possible.


The daughter is retired, lives several states away. Does come here, generally, every few months .. and stays for a period of about 3 weeks at a stretch. I wish I could make a list of everything the daughter did when here this last time, but it would take up the whole character allotment:

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Kimber: There is no talk planned. From what I gathered in talking with SIL ..

1. DH is no help, per her words .. it's all on her.

2. She is going to, for today, tomorrow . for right now .. just do what she can to keep her mom .. and they'll just jockey back and forth .. "til we can't do it anymore".

I didn't ask her, nor has DH .. nobody thinks of these things (but also as I was told by her, and she wasn't being snarky .. her words "I just can't do things the way you would ... it makes me more stressed and this is stressful enough just living it").

My question, were I to jump in and ask:

"M'kay SIL .. well .. your DH isn't gonna stay here in FL .. we know that .. his medical team is in IL . and you've said neither of you are interested in uprooting that whole program .. so .. I presume he's going to stay in IL more than in FL .. maybe coming and going some, but not stay here for the duration you'd stay. He is 74 and has a myriad of health problems also. So .. what happens w/him in IL and experiencing some health issue that you feel needs your attention and time .. and yet . you're here .. accommodating your mom's wish to be in her own home and c'giving for her, what then?" Are we assuming MIL is going to be at the ready .. bag packed .. poochy and her .. and up you go .. on a plane .. both of you with poochy .. on a moment's notice, back to IL .. is that the plan".

These are the things I think of .. a planner, some say *anal*.

SIL's approach . in her own words, "for right now, .. for today .. I'm going to just do what I can with trying to just go back and forth from FL to IL . and we'll just do that, til we can't do it anymore".

The "ONLY" thing said about AL .. there is intent, .. when they get here to FL, to visit some and get some familiarity with AL's here .. in FL .. and talk to the powers that be in those settings. That's it.

I didn't ask anymore questions.

Yes that size 13 boot grows ever larger looming .....

What indeed, happens .. should SIL have a health crises with her husband, him in IL . .and her here. What indeed? What happens?

But .. *the way I'd have her do things* is stressful to her, she feels like (her words) *she has to answer to me* .. and that causes her more stress . and she's already living enough stress just in what she is doing day to day.

There is no talk planned.
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Dorker, I hope you and DH enjoy a lovely, relaxing, magic filled Christmas with your grandchildren.

January will be interesting when MIL back home - I assume with poochy. SIL breathing for her. Wondering just when she and DH will have the communication about moving MIL to assisted living / nursing home.  What is your gut (30%, 75%??) chance that SIL will decide to leave in May but leave behind the "TEAM MIL" again? I still think DH and SIL realize you are out of it, but don't realize the impact. "What do you mean you won't take her to the doctor?" "what do you mean you won't pick up the foo foo dog food?"

Hopefully by May SIL will totally realize MIL needs assisted living, has checked them out, selected one, moved MIL in, and saw to her being settled in. [Ha!- likely to happen!]
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EmilySue: Probably a process that takes a good while, would be my guess.

I always reflect on something my son in law said. His grand dad is gone now .. but he had the closest bond with his grand dad .. guy helped raise him. He and his grand dad were always very close .. like, he didn't have a lot of buddies this son in law of ours .. but he did pal around with his grandfather .. and do that kinda stuff.

In the later years .. not so long ago . his grand dad became ill and cantankerous as all get out ...

It didn't fall on son in law per se, the daily doings .. but some of it did .. at times when there would be acute need. The grandfather in his lasts year or two became really a grouchy old soul, never happy (probably miserable because he didn't feel good most of the time). It had gotten before all was said and done, quite testy to even be in the man's presence, much less have to be assigned a task or 3 or 4 to go help with .. and him .. son in law .. even talking of how the good memories ... so many good memories of the man ... gone. Been replaced by this grouchy, always in a foul mood .. old man that is so needy.

Then the man did pass on. It's been quite some time ago.

Son in law reflecting on all that and he talks of .. in the throes of it all, it was hard to see the old guy that he once enjoyed and had so many good times with and so had an affinity for.

But now, now that the old guy has been gone a good while .. those bad memories are faded .. and distant .. and the good memories are what he has of the old fella.

Probably takes some time .. would be my guess.

Of course, I'm not at all there, ... MIL .. while not really cantankerous and grouchy (though that does rear it's head at times) . she is very selfish and myopic in her wants and so forth . and how that falls . is lost on her (cognitive impairment is my layman assessment there though).

I'm guessing that somewhere in the recesses of my brain .. I do still remember the giving and loving soul she once was .. and not this selfish, self-centered, needy old soul she's become. Maybe that's what I haven't .. in all of the mess, (that and her cognitive impairment that I firmly believe to be the case with her, though not formerly dx'd) .. maybe that's why I haven't blown sky high with her . and told her just what I think about her .. and then some!

I do remember her as someone who was very loving .. very much a great mother in law . .and an even better g'ma to our kids.

But .. good memories .. that as the forefront .. nah . not there, .. not in my own mind's eye . not there presently.

Maybe it takes the old soul being long gone .. before those memories are the ones that come readily to mind.
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The "looming boot" is there in one way or another for all of us dealing with this demise-stage of life with our loved ones. Guess it's something that can and does destroy family relationships sometimes.

There are still resentments that pop up now and again between me and my siblings... (my mom died a year ago) We have all tried best we can to resolve things and have all chosen peace and family, but when certain trigger topics are mentioned it can still cause some conflict.

It's a process. <sigh>
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Oh if I stop and give any of it much thought, dread fills me. Dread that they are to return in this direction and .. possible expectation that I will step to .. and the discord that will result.

If I stop and think about it all, .. I can get filled with anger again. Anger that the very person who was so much a crux of the whole thing for so long (me) .. wasn't listened to, acknowledged, . etc (not in the way of thank you's .. I don't want that .. what I wanted was to be "heard" when I said this is getting to be too much).

If I think about it .. that whole piece can overwhelm me also.

But yes, .. at present .. my life is pretty preoccupied .. the busyness of the holidays . the g'kids and the fun stuff that goes along with having little ones to enjoy the season with, the baking that I enjoy .. the toys .. presents .. to wrap .. just so much to do .. and most of it pleasurable.

Peace? Yes, . in the fact that I am doing at present, what I want to do .. with my existence .. for the most part . and not stepping to MIL need and demands that I don't find any reward in partaking of.

It's that other shoe that looms ever larger .. that size 13 boot .. that looms overhead .. if I think about it .. it weighs me down.

I just don't, .. not presently. And yes, peace in that.
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Dorker, you found some peace - and it shows! Enjoy the new calm. And nuture the new calm by focusing on the parts of your life that are rewarding.
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I am sooo getting you right now. First of all I have been in the sisters shoes the one been “extra” but once she’s with her 24/7 she will change trust me. I did. You should not make it an option for her to go. You are not being selfish by wanting to make ur daughter and grand babies your priority and quiet frankly u will resent her if u aren’t able to do this. Talk to the sister and tell her this needs to happen no question. Not optional. Also, be honest and tell her ur concerns about her being “over protective “ it’s important that ur mom in law doesn’t feel she’s being treated like an invalid
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Dorker, you sound so much more at peace and less weighed down now with it all, which is great news! Glad you are enjoying getting ready for the holidays. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a great time enjoying the kids and grand babies.
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There isn't any news. In fact, the last little blurb of it all was when I talked to SIL finally. There have been no further developments. All is quiet on the eastern front here.

I've been in full swing here as to the holidays . much to do . and have been working some. So the whole thing has been off my radar entirely. And it feels great!

Clocking along towards that Jan 8 arrival back to the MIL household. But even still, not gonna be mine to deal with any longer.
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Dear Burnout, I want to first tell you there are not many that are so involved as you seem to be in your mother-in law...bless you. Then, take this or leave it because this is truly just from a hearing side of what you are saying and by no means living what you are going through or what you have to deal with on a daily basis. Is there any way you could take the time that the daughter shows up as a "vacation"? I know from my stance in listening of four things: 1) You are frustrated, 2) your sister-in-law drives you crazy, 3) You are worried about the residual affects once the daughter leaves, what outcomes will be left behind on your mother-in-law, and 4) You seem to be just a little bit of a control type A personality? yes??? :P Don't get angry with me on my observations since I don't know you just reading what you posted. I do have to come with three suggestions (and since we don't know each other, like I mentioned, you can take it or lose it like someone giving their opinion in the grocery isle, okay :P). First, let some things go. If you had to, what could you let go for your own piece of mind? Second, is there something you could do and let "Dear sister-in-law" have complete control for YOU to have a small semi-vacation? And 3) Have you set this "Dear sister-in-law" down with your husband and talked about any of these issues or is she suppose to "know" how you feel on her own? Does she have that kind of intellectual understanding of what kind of chaos she creates when she does her sweep in and sweep out? Sometimes people are blind to what they are doing and feel total need to over-compensate because they are not there all the time. Just curious if you have ever thought of that or approached it from that side? Like I stated-take it or lose it. I only recently joined the conversation so maybe I don't know the whole story and I am in no way trying to "tell" you what to do, just offering suggestions-take it or lose it. Happy holidays :P
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Sure hoping no news is good news.
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(cont'd)

Gunna be a whole new path for me to learn.

A dyed in the wool people pleaser .. and someone who obviously .. loathes contention and anger.

Learning the path forward . to not "own" the projections of others . and to answer with the whole blase' . ."man that's awful . gee, hope that works out", as things rock along going forward. Other benign such responses.

NOT AT ALL ........... my character/nature. I'm a jump in and get it done .. have an opinion/solution .. etc.

Will be very . like mixing oil and water . for me to try to blend the whole blase responses into it all. But learn it I am gunna.

On another note .. (plan goes awry) ........... DH . took the paperwork today as to the car tag .. to go deal with it. DOH!

I guess maybe his sister in his ear . now that they are to arrive here . or maybe he just remembered it on his own . don't know, didn't ask.

So that will be resolved .. and .. better yet .. at DH's hand. So be it.
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Barb: Indeed. The way you outline it .. is how it should work.

I wonder, of those of you who are long timers here .. on AC .. how many have seen other posts from such a dysfunctional sect?

To me, my only perspective granted .. it feels like this has got to be the most dysfunctional bunch of folks . to have ever walked the face of the planet.

How much different things would have looked had there been *validation*, *acknowledgement*, etc .. when the noise began to increase .. from the "outsider" .. who .. really .. in the end .. how much of an "outsider" am I?

I was hands-on .. in the trenches .. ya might think I have a pretty good finger on the pulse of the real-time accuracy of what goes on.

Had this begun .. almost 3 years ago (landed here almost 2 years ago) .. with some validation .. of what I was seeing .. and I'd actually . .. I guess .. validation . to me . might've looked like .. my having rattled cages that her needs were increasing . and we need others brought to bear in all this ..

It might've actually looked like, .. that would get acknowledgement in the form of . maybe the mother treated with more insistence (the one who needs) .. rather than my having been treated with dismissal (by SIL) and anger by DH.

How does one convince an old person that they have to allow 'others' to engage in all this .. that it's becoming too much ...???....

At least in my view .. one agrees that we all sit down .. at the kitchen table and hash out ... and comb through some of the concerns .. and how best to meet those concerns ..

I asked for that, numerous times.

See dismissal and anger as the result.

What happens when the elderly still refuses .. .. "no now I will manage here, I don't want people coming and going here .. now you guys just leave me be".

I really don't have the answer to that .. other than I guess .. (having not walked that walk myself) .. I guess that elderly is left to do just that .. and in fact, finds that life is a whole lot turned upside down in the absence of anyone to step n fetch. I really don't know ..

"Oh no, what's that, your dog is sick again .. man oh man . I hate that for ya . yea I know what a struggle it is for you to get out and take care of such .. man hope that works out for ya".

OR

"Gee, shame you won't let others help you .. you remember ma . we talked about all this . that it's becoming too much to manage and we asked you to agree to let "others" be a part of all this . hope that works out for ya".

What did happen? What was the reality?

SIL on the texting machine gun style ..... "Mom's dog is sick and needs to get to the vet .. she feels very worried about him .. and she says she'll just drive herself there . but it's just too hard for her . to manage getting the dog leashed up and into the car . and then getting there with him and back home .. do you have some time to go see about that, can you call her and see if she can get a vet appt and get him seen?".

Me balking .. "SIL .... we talked about all this .. I tried to . you guys didn't listen . she's left here to manage .. what part of the above is managing ... ????".

Met with: "I know .. I don't know what to do with her, she's so damn stubborn".

Several of the above scenarios play out . and you go to your husband . who really in every sense of all this is an outsider to it all . busy with his own life . sans the FIXIT chores .. and you get anger .. "She's old . she needs help . she can't do these things". Then why do you keep letting her stay there and refuse add'l help . it's too much . it's always something DH ..always . almost every damn day .. I've told you that". She doesn't wanna leave her home . she doesn't want people coming and going . just help her . just go do what you can .. ".

That was the order of the day for a long while . rocking along .. resentful . steppin and fetching.

Until .. I finally landed here and began to examine what boundaries are.
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Dorker; It really depends upon the family, and the elder being cared for.

We three kids each lived, respectively, one hour, one hour and a quarter and 4 hours from mom. When she could no longer live at home alone, we moved her to a place that was close to her place of residence so that friends could visit. (They never did). Mom was initially resistant to the move, but we told her we could no longer respond to her emergencies. (We stood together, and stood firm--rule 1)

When mom had a stroke, it became obvious that mom needed to be close by to one of us. We did research on the available facilities and talked about job flexibility and other "intangible" factors (like the fact that my SIL actually liked my mom and was able to talk mom into stuff that the rest of us couldn't (she was our "secret weapon"--(rule 2- listen to the outsider who has a better understanding of your parent as a person).

My brother had great job flexibility and could simply say "gotta go now" and leave for an hour or so if there was an emergency. Health care costs in his area were lower and the care better than they were in mine. (Rule 3, location, location, location).

I was the "medical go to"--I took mom to appointments, although I was over an hour away at this point, because I had that portfolio, so to speak. Bro and SIL had financials and facilities; (his wife is an MBA and he does facility management, so best person to call if the roof caved in at the house, which we needed to prepare for sale. (Rule 4--break up the work).

Rule 5 is that open communication is necessary to make a good plan work.

If families can do that, running shouldn't be the only option.

And yes, we have a younger brother who didn't really 'do" much, but his mantra was "you guys are doing a great job; whatever you say, I agree with". So no interference from him.

Ultimately, this was all down to Mom and Dad, who lived a frugal life, were lifelong savers and left a nest egg for their care. They taught us to work together and they taught us, by example, the importance of taking care of one's self and one's marriage while care giving.
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I tell ya if I ever come across here . on AC . someone in the throes of all that I have been thru .. I will tell them (would they listen) .. run . run as fast as you can . run away .. it won't end well. RUN!

Had I only known .. I'd of turned a blind eye to it all, . long long ago.

Yes, I love xmas treats . and have a blast doing it ..

Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peppermint Fudge
Xmas Cookies

and

Sometimes Divinity (though I don't know . has to be cold to do that)
Peanut Brittle (sometimes . if I feel real ambitious)

Love doing it .. and giving it out to folks ..

Will send some along thru cyber space to all of ya. LOL
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Oh - and glad to hear you are enjoying your cookie baking time! I need to make some time for that myself.
Don't you love that tradition? I sure do!

And I like your new tactics, Dorker, and thank you for keeping us all up to date with your saga. You actually could write a book to share, as so many of us can relate in one way or another to your dilemma. By sharing it, I think you have helped strengthen and support more people in more ways than you know.
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<sigh> Yeah, pretty sure you are right about your opinions not counting much. BUT - I think you have "planted little bugs" in DH's ear, just by voicing the obvious. Making him think, with no actual opinion on your part, but leading him to perceive what it obvious to you. (Just noting what he will be responsible for, there in FL) Leading him to "think".

Maybe you could switch to "little bugs" like listening to their antics and gripes, and stating in an empathetic way stuff like - "Oh, poor MIL. I feel badly that she has to endure that. It seems almost abusive." "I feel sorry for MIL having to go through all that." "Yes, It's sad for older people having to face these changes." Plant little seeds. Maybe they will continue to grow, in DH and SIL, on their own. Because it is the truth, and no one can default you for feeling empathy for MIL, which you do. No "opinions" needed or given, cause God knows their actions are up to them.

And with my mom, I did see that sometimes all she really wanted with all her "poor me" and complaining was empathy and understanding. When I switched to trying to give her happiness, to simply agreeing - "Yeah mom, it must be hard getting old. You are right. I can't imagine how hard it must be at 90." Agreeing with her soothed her and actually led to her concession and compliance in the course of things. And assuring her of my love.
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In the throes of xmas baking tonight .. green and red fingers and all. Taking a momentary break.

I think my points going forward are going to be, "oh hate that for ya" .. "oh yea that sounds tough" .. "gee, hope that works out for ya" .. "man that sounds really hard" .. "gotta run now".

About like that.

I would love to be able to make suggestions.

It does sound cruel to me .. to be carting MIL back and forth to IL .. every 4 or 5 months .. and .. it seems .. in her . that chitapalooza .. among other reasons .. flares when emotional upset is at issue. The above .. sure creates emotional upset in her.

If I thought my opinions were at all valued .. I'd do so ..

This last few years have taught me . my opinion . doesn't count for nil.

Thus ... I'll get real good at the above sayings and not much more.

Yes, I do think DH .. at least in voicing to me .. now "gets it" .. at least a little more than had been the case prior.

Does he "get it" to the degree he will step the h377 up and speak up . to his mom and sister .. ????

I guess we'll see won't we.

In any event .. I'm gonna be a blank slate as to any input ..

Oh I'm sure I'll have my opinions . but I will likely chew a hole in my tongue .. not speaking those opinions.

Rainmom . the story with the cat. Yes, sounds carbon copy of what goes on here .. only with a dog.

I will never, as long as I live .. never be able to wrap my brain around the saga that went on with the dog messing everywhere . and MIL's refusal to leave him outside more than inside .. I'll never get that. Her looking at me . .like I have 3 heads and actually saying out loud .. "now you know I'm not gonna do that . that's like asking me to leave a child outside".

For CRYING OUT LOUD . this is FL .. . it's not the Klondike!

I don't recall what time of year it was .. but .. it would be extremely rare for it to get bitter cold here .. and if it was winter .. it's likely . there might be a chill in the air .. but isn't that why animals have fur coats? And I have the good sense to know .. had it been frigid outside .. I'd of not suggested such a thing.

UNREAL!!!!!!!!

My dog . would occasionally get a gut ailment that would have him either throwing up/and or .. the other end .. and he was allowed to enjoy the vast outdoors .. more so than the indoors . if that was at issue .. until . either he

A) Got better

Or

B) Got to the doc to determine what's wrong . and then got better.

HOLY GEEZE .......... I'll never get it.
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I couldn't agree with EMILYSUE more, not to mention that MIL's cognitive function will likely worsen over the years to the point that even having those multi daily long distance phone calls (should end up in Fl.) Will eventually come to the point that she will not be able to decipher MIL's wants and needs, causing SIL even more grief and anxiety, and would then Force Dh's increased involvement as well as irritation too!

These people are going to have to look further down the road than just the immediate future, as in addition to MIL's wants, needs and happiness, she will not be at all happy if she doesn't have people stepin' and fetchin' for her on almost a daily basis, and believe me, there will be a lot of it!

MIL will be best served right there in Illinois, where her daughter can keep her the happiest, even if she isn't in her beloved Florida State. At least she will have frequent visitors to AL, and be able to see her poochy on the regular, and hopefully visits from you and her Son a couple of times in the year.
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The one "hopeful" glimmer in the whole dance here is that DH seems to be growing just a touch of a backbone. I mean, he stated fairly bluntly that the AL in Fl idea is out of the question. Now he needs to state it factually and bluntly to MIL and SIL. At least he seems to be seeing a bit more clearly.

It is long past time for both sibs to realize that the parent/child situation has reversed, and they must now assume the role of parents to MIL. Time to be firm (but loving) and tell MIL what must be done. Live with SIL (or AL in IL), dissolve the household in Fl, get affairs in order, and relax and enjoy wherever time she has left. None of that is unkind in any way. It is what loving children do. The idea of traveling back and forth to Fl. with a frail old lady is rather ridiculous and even cruel to put her through that, and will likely create only more chaos. And the endeavor of AL searching in FL sounds like just a silly, time-wasting exercise in futility! It seems mean to put the old gal through all that just in an attempt to humor her.

Maybe further conversations could emphasize those points to SIL. Like, "Yes, it's sad and tough, but you have to be strong SIL. It's a sad but inevitable part of life, provided they are lucky enough to reach a ripe old age, like MIL has. We all need to face this stuff with bravery, empathy, and firmness."

And maybe even suggest to SIL that it seems almost abusive to put MIL through all this stuff at her age - chasing after endless doc appts, forcing her to travel so much, forcing her to visit AL's in Fl. SIL will not like it suggested that she is abusive, for sure... Might make her think just a little. Who knows?
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It wouldn't be a bad idea for Dorker to pack a go-bag , get an extra bottle of wine and sign up for a yoga class - in a month, DH will be drawn into the vortex that is Team MIL. He'll be getting an earful about the horrible AL's, how MIL is doing better in her own home, and SIL's wigging out. And if along the way it's determined that AL is not the appropriate level of care, they'll all be wigging out.
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This situation with the dog reminds me of my mom and her cat.

My mother was much the same when it came to loving her cat as MIL is towards Poochy. Special rx’d cat food - inconveniently needing to be picked up from the fancy-smancy vet, same sense that without Kitty, mother would surely curl up and loose the will to go on...

As I’ve mentioned previously- mom even had a near full page in her DPOA doc regarding the care and comfort of the cat. At least she had a DPOA, right?

Kitty was a “designer” breed cat. Quite large and of course- over weight. Kitty had free range of the house/apartment- including kitchen counters and the dining room table. Kitty was allowed to sharpen his claws on whatever he please and shredded every piece of furniture in the house.

Kitty was NEVER, EVER disciplined. That I even suggested it was viewed by my mother as heinous and cruel.

So - there we were. Mom needing to move to a NH that would allow pet visits but no pets in residence.

What to do? What to do!?!

Kitty was far too precious to have to endure my cruel standards and expectations. Which BTW - I didn’t want the cat but would have taken him versus putting him down or taking him to a shelter.

But - no need. Golden Child brother comes to the rescue. After all- he had given Kitty to my mom and brother had three other cats. Two of which were siblings to Kitty. As well - brother pretty much held
his cats to the same standard of behavior as my mother held Kitty. None.

So - all is well that ends well, right?

For the next ten months brother brought Kitty to see my mother three or four times. But unbeknownst to my mother or me - it seems Kitty wasn’t adjusting well. Tough to go from King of the Castle to merely being one of the gang, I guess.

About a year after my mother passed, my brother took Kitty to a shelter. Seems Kitty urinating on my SILs open laptop- soaking the keyboard and ruining the computer- was the last straw.

Huh.
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Dorker, you are not heartless at all! Proven it by your deeds for a very long time.  I would ignore such charges by DH and SIL - it is just manipulation to make you fall in line -  like little kids saying "if you love use you would let us play in the street, play with insecticide, etc."  All you can do here is the right thing and that is ignore the manipulations.  DH and SIL are the people who have to solve this mess, they are MIL's kids and whatever authority, influence, etc. they might have is theirs, not yours.  So neither is the responsibility.   Basically they are out to shed any responsibility they might have, but that is wrong and unfair on their part (though they will never truly admit it). I'd go for a stone-deaf stance on any subject MIL and just consider their whole "thing" the rants of Martians. Ignoring their complaints, requests, etc. will gradually get them off your back. After all, you don't worry about what Martians do in their daily lives, do you?  Same with SIL, MIL, and DH at least as regards MIL issues.
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I know we need to stop projecting. But it really irks me that SIL’s impending nervous breakdown (it’s coming, folks - and she’ll have brought it all upon herself) will get more acknowledgement from the family than Dorker’s steadfast decade+ of support and cooperation.

And as always, the closest thing to a solution is for the sane person to do all the changing. The sane person must change her outlook, change her conversations, change her behavior......

Because the narcs are incapable of improvement. Because the narcs are exempt from expectations. Because the narcs will “always be who they are.”

Damm, it gets old.

Dorker, if it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one living this end game.

Just venting, folks!! I know there are no easy answers. If anyone has something more uplifting to add, please do. 😃
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DH has his own construction business so does he go to DMV. For his trucks registrations etc? He could do MIL while taking care of his work trucks? My hubby is self employed, (heating and air conditioning) and he has 10 trucks, two personal cars. I cannot go to DMV and renew any vehicle registrations because I’m not the owner of the car. I’m in Jersey, so it may be different else where.
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Dorker - how much do you want to be the expired car tags are going to be put on your plate by an exasperated DH "for chrissakes Dorker - it's just tags. I have to work and don't have time for this chit now". Well, neither do you! He accepted this little task - not you.

So the crew will come Jan 8 and then SIL will want to leave about May. I look forward to updates from you as to the whirly-gigs and Dr visits to strengthen MIL. MIL resisting any and all attempts at AL. And the spoiled poochy.
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LOL. Moving on with my day .. and heading out to find two "white elephant" gifts for a party upcoming. Those are always fun to contemplate.

Then on to the rest of the day .. could give two whits about it as to the doggie issue ..
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Okay, this has to stop.

You are spending time rehearsing the arguments for and against hi-falutin' veterinary care for an animal you are not in any circumstances going to be looking after. Right down to defending yourself against accusations of heartlessness that nobody is making.

Stop!
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CM: Time will tell the tale won't it.

The dog . in the end ... as a factor in all this .. gets way more consideration than I would give it.

Yes I realize .. and own it .. and have an awareness that her dog to her is . as SIL puts it .. "I think the dog is more important to her than her own life". I see that .. recognize it .. acknowledge it .. and in fact, yes .. it's very true .. and has been for a number of years . her very reason to even get up and function. That is so very true of all this.

Is the dog that important to me .. that I will take it on .. so as to keep that a part of MIL's life and happiness.

Not even by a whisper .. nope.

It isn't.

Is that factor important enough to SIL that she weighs it out .. and the dog's well being as to MIL's life and existence. You bet it is.

What will SIL do . will she be able to convince her mom .. ultimately .. .(and for the ever loving sake of a fricking dog in the end) "Mother .. you have to stay here in IL .. we're gonna be able to bring the dog to visit you" (a dog that is now 12 or 13 years old . how much longer can the dog even live in the end anyway) .. but by golly that will be a consideration.

Will it buy .. in the end .. MIL's agreement .. "well yes . .. I Just cannot bear to think of my last days and never seeing my dog again .. I will stay in IL . and daughter of mine . you promise me you will bring him to me daily to visit".

I dunno.

I wouldn't give it even a whisper of any consideration .. and .. they all know .. MIL even visted the assembly line vet we went to .. at one point . eons ago .. with her dog in tow .. she was woefully unhappy with that setting .. "it's assembly line care, do they even know the dog's name there?".

Different approaches .. do I care if they know my dog's name .. (they do . it's on the chart) .... but am I gonna not go there .. because it's "assembly line care".

H377 no, that's not an issue for me. Never was.

I can just about surmise that MIL wouldn't want us charged with her dog's well being . she knows .. we are .. down to earth practicality type people .. we don't froo froo much of anything.
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So MIL takes up residence with SIL indefinitely, if that's bumping along all right so far. Nobody needs to use the word "permanently." Just let it happen.

Or, MIL moves into a facility in IL where SIL, grand vizier to doggie, can take dog to visit MIL regularly and without inconvenience.

Moving MIL back to FL, where before long she will be forced into a NH through illness or injury willy-nilly, works for nobody. Not even for MIL.
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