My husband and I used to love entertaining. Dinner parties with 4-8 people were fun. We had a house large enough to accommodate two dozen friends and family for major holidays. And we were an outstanding cooking team. We usually had to gently push the stragglers out the door at the end of an evening!
Then 12 years ago, he started his decline. One of his many chronic, incurable conditions is severe IBS. Because we had to allow our house to go into foreclosure and we went bankrupt paying for his medical costs, we now live in a small apartment. It's easy to hear the noises coming from his bathroom, even through two closed doors. By the way, Texas, where we live now after spending our lives in Seattle, has little to no assistance for folks like us. Neither of us are veterans and we make too much income from disability insurance to qualify for Medicaid. So. No support system.
My soon-to-be son-in-law's birthday is on the same day as a major Jewish holiday this year, and his dad, whom I haven't met yet, is coming to celebrate his son's day. So I invited them for a special dinner. Now I realize, for the umpteenth time, that our situation makes others uncomfortable. Even if my husband isn't on the toilet, just knowing somebody is in the other room, suffering, and physically unable to walk in and sit at the table, and occasionally needing me to excuse myself to go in to help him with something, makes guests --and me-- feel awkward.
My daughter lives nearby. She has a lovely apartment. I know, because we gave her all our nice furniture, artwork, most of our serving ware, kitchen ware, etc. The last time I was in this kind of position, she and I decided to hold the dinner at her place, which worked out nicely (despite the fact that I was anxious the whole time about leaving my husband for so long, and we both worried that he might hurt himself or otherwise need me). I guess that's what we should do this time too. But it makes me feel disappointed and useless (I do the cooking, but still...) and even more isolated than ever. This situation is why I don't ask any potential friends over either --which is why people always fade away from my life pretty quickly-- because I can never reciprocate at my home, (and I'm too poor to go out to activities that cost money, or to restaurants).
Am I clinging to yet another aspect of my former life that just isn't possible anymore? Or is there some way I could pull this off?