Okay, you’ve seen my photo and you know I’m older than dirt because I told you so. Well, imagine ME having the in-laws coming to visit for two weeks for Chrismas. Most people my age don’t have in-laws any more. I found out today that they’re arriving on the 17th.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like my husband’s parents. They are over 90 and are still living independently and get around better than I do if I admitted the truth. Their social calendar is dwindling a bit since most of their contemporaries have passed on but they still go to the golf club for dinner a couple of times a week, attend functions in Melbourne for former university lecturers where they gab about holograms, still participate in charity work and clubs and they have a 5 acre garden that until recently they cared for by themselves.
These are NOT old people waiting to die. My mother-in-law is the sexiest old woman I’ve ever met. She will flirt with any man and I doubt she realises she’s doing it.
They are delightful people. A few years ago we took them to Europe with us for nearly a month. They have relatives in Scotland and they wanted to attend their grandson’s university graduation, plus they wanted to see Salzburg and Rome and Paris… oh and London and Glasgow too. They were in their very late 80s then and I was a bit worried about how they’d cope with all the walking around.
Remember what I said about them doing all their own gardening? They had more energy than either John or I. If I said, “would you like to have a rest for a few hours?” the answer was always no, they were ready to see something new.
The only problem we ever had and it wasn’t a real problem was that my father-in-law thought he should help to move the suitcases off the trains. If you’ve been on European trains before you’d know you have about 90 seconds to get off (or on) a train. No time for a 90 year old to fiddle with a suitcase. “Dad, move out of the way, the suitcase will land on you,” John yelled once as he was tossing the bags to the platform.
I got on the next train and J’s dad said, “I don’t like it when John gets angry with me,” and I felt really bad for him. John did apologise and explained (again) why we had to hurry and that he wasn’t angry. His dad understood but didn’t appreciate hearing that he was nearly 90 and catching a 32 kilo suitcase being tossed from a train was not a good thing for him to be doing.
It was like taking children with you on holiday but you couldn’t spank them.
It was a wonderful holiday and I have memories I will treasure for a lifetime. They live in country Victoria and the Victorian siblings think it’s time that “the olds” as we all fondly call them should move to a smaller place and one near public transport. 90 year olds with arthritis shouldn’t be driving. Neither was a great driver when they were young but now we all worry.
The reason for the trip is for my husband, the baby of the family, to convince them that living up here on the Sunshine Coast is a good idea. Whenever they visit I wait on them hand and foot and spend time entertaining them every day but I’ve never had them for 2 weeks straight. Because I’ve spoiled them in the past with fancy breakfasts, lunches and dinners, they are going to expect the same and I don’t have the time I had before.
I’ve warned John that these are HIS parents and he’s going to have to help me get the house ready. He decided we could afford to get some help to do that. :eyeroll: He hates housework more than I do.
Have you had to talk parents into assisted living situations? We are not looking forward to it. J’s brother, sister and sister-in-law are considered bullies by the olds for bringing up the idea of moving. They aren’t ready but they live in the middle of nowhere and have no family close by. We’ll have to be very gentle indeed. Wish me luck.