Jun 18, 2007

Live long or die young?

I live in a joint family – hubby, me, 2 kids and 2 in-laws. My in-laws have been very supportive of me ever since I got married. Inspite of the occasional difference of opinion which is bound to be there when two individuals stay together, there is a basic harmony in our house. We have learnt to withdraw whenever we can sense a storm brewing. We have learnt to tolerate each other. We have learnt to guess the mood in general.There are times I get frustrated, when I feel the need to break free, when I hate that interference, when I want to do something without explanation or permission. But then I remind myself that I am blessed to have elders around who can guide me when I am in need of moral support. I can leave my kids in hands that care. I can have the liberty to be carefree in the office not worrying whether my child ate well, is sleeping properly, has been picked up from school etc. There have been times when I was bed-ridden and didn’t think of kitchen or kids at all. But now I am getting worried. My MIL is 75 and FIL has crossed 80. Over the past year, my FIL has become very weak – mentally. He keeps imagining some or the other physical ailment. If one day its lose motion, next day it will be constipation. Third day he will complain about loss of memory. Every week, he wants to be taken to the doctor and if the doctor prescribes some medicine, he will have something to say about it the next day- it caused acidity, or it causes stomach upset etc. Out of an average 16 hrs he is awake, he thinks of himself close to 16 hrs!!! During the initial days, I could sympathise with his situation. Maybe this is what old age drives you to! I used to give a patient hearing. But now I am losing it. I and hubby have tried explaining to him that with old age, decline in health is imminent. Why not accept it and lead the remaining life happily? Think of God, think of the grandchildren. Divert your mind. But no, it falls on deaf ears. He starts his day crying and cribbing and ends his day the same way. At times, takes out his frustration on my children whom I have taught to bear. Sometimes I feel I have 4 children and not 2.
I think of one of my neighbours, Padma. Her MIL is 99 and completely bed-ridden. She has to be given liquid diet every now and then. She has to be tended when nature calls. Padma sponges her everyday. I do believe in good karma and its after effects but till she reaps the fruit, does she and her MIL really have to go through all this? Padma has 2 sons, both settled in US for the past 6-7 yrs and she hasn’t visited them even once since there is noone who can look after her MIL in her absence! I am scared! I am scared of growing old. I would prefer to die young when I am still happy with myself, when I do not have any complaints against anyone, when I do not nag my children day in and day out. But is it in my hands?


Just like that June 19, 2007 at 12:34 PM  

I don't know how to comment- I think my Mom could do it better than me.
My sis has her elderly FIl staying with her, and she too at times bursts out at FIL's doings, esp when it come to my nephew(never to his face, only to us, in front of him, she is the docile DIL)Mom keeps telling her to think it were Daddy..

But I think it makes a difference when they are in-laws.. I could bully my Dad for not taking medicines, take him to task for being irritable, tease him etc, but I doubt if I could do that to my FIL. I'd be afraid of what he would think of me...But then we don't live together, am so glad we don't..

Take it easy, and I too believe a lot in the good karma bit, so just grin and bear... (btw, I do admire you for staying with your inlaws and maintaining harmony- says a lot for them and for you.)

WhatsInAName June 23, 2007 at 6:04 PM  

I maybe sounding as complaining but its just that sometimes I feel sorry for them as well as me !!!

Everything has its pluses and minuses. :)

Hip Grandma June 24, 2007 at 8:31 AM  

Certain things are not under our control and living to be 95 yrs of age is one such thing.we all would like to die when people say 'why now?' rather than 'why not?'But I have no control over such things.I can only try to be undemanding and accommodating but I am not sure if my children would see it that way.Best thing would be is to let time take care of these issues and be prepared for all situations irrespective of whether it suits us or not.

WhatsInAName June 25, 2007 at 3:56 PM  

Hip Gma :)
Thank you so much for your warm words and advice. I guess I posted this article on a bad hair day ... out of frustration. Ah yes, let time tell ! Wont think too much about it

WhatsInAName June 25, 2007 at 3:58 PM  


Trying to get rid of it!

Usha June 25, 2007 at 7:59 PM  

Obviously you have done a great job so far and I understand your frustration. Sometimes people become obsessed with themselves as they grow old but it is mostly people who haven't developed any interests or diversions in their younger life. I know a lot of people who face old age cheerfully and with grace. We cannot control how long we live but we certainly can decide how we are ging to live - if you have the right attitude you will not be a burden to anyone in old age.

WhatsInAName June 29, 2007 at 11:45 AM  

You are absolutely right. I have observed the same. We need to develop interests and diversions and learn to enjoy life :)

~nm June 29, 2007 at 1:17 PM  

WIAN : Somehow your thoughts are no different than mine..about not living too long. I also hope and pray that I die when I am totally healthy and not dependant on anyone. I've always thought of that age limit between 55-65.

Thanks for dropping by on my blog.

WhatsInAName July 9, 2007 at 3:20 PM  

NM :)
I should thank you for visiting my blog too and reading my random ramblings !!!

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