Every year for the past 20 years or so it happens. It's usually the weekend after Thanksgiving and I thought I'd be prepared again this year. Even though shopping and preparing for Christmas can be stressful I manage to find a way to get into the spirit of Christmas.
My mother-in-law has once again called off Christmas. Through out the years I've heard horror stories of how she freaked every Christmas over the way the tree was looking, over her cookies and whatever else went wrong in her day. I did get to witness her tossing all her cookie dough one day because she couldn't remember if she added an ingredient or not.
Back in the mid 60's Arnie's dad was in a horrible car accident on Christmas Eve. The story has it that she has been down on Christmas since then. A few years ago I made the comment "Wouldn't this make you more in the spirit because you didn't lose him?" She never counts her blessings, only looks at the bad side of everything. I've had many conversations with her showing her the good in things which works for about an hour and then she starts in again.
Today marks the beginning of her call of no Christmas this year. She is convinced that by Christmas she will be in kidney dialysis. She is one a medication that needs to be monitored and was sent for blood work the other day. Her doctors office called yesterday for a consult of her blood work and an appointment was made for Tuesday. "They're going to break the news then".
The lab sent her a copy of the blood work and she has suddenly become a doctor and is able to tell that her kidneys are bad. Fortunately my mother just went through the same thing and I remembered her telling me her numbers. They are about the same as mother-in-laws meaning she's okay. I have to remind her also that she is 77 years old. To tell her that is basically means she needs to be monitored and possible taken off the medication or have the dosage decrease falls on deaf ears. I was done talking about it. Then came the best part....
She is convinced she was adopted. Being that she is 10 years younger than her sister, she doesn't believe she was a later in life child. There is a picture she found of herself in a laundry basket that now has her convinced that she was dropped off on their porch. She's damn serious. When asked why she looks so much like her siblings she replied "When people live together for a long time they look alike". I think what we have her is a case of someone who is bored out of their mind. She needs a hobby or to get to a senior center or something to socialize with others. I've told my husband and his siblings that they need to convince her to get out and do something. This woman is very talented, educated and brilliant in many ways. She lacks self-confidence. She needs to do something other than sit in her house day after day and let her mind wander. My attempts at finding her social centers which offer crafts, music (which she loves), baking or just plain talking have been ignored.
I did remind her once again this year that Christmas is not canceled. Christmas comes every year and if she chooses not to celebrate that is her own choice, but it comes no matter what she says. So once again, we're in for the ride.