The Waltons

"Dear Morning Go" went like this today:  [click here to listen]

Dear Morning Go:

My father-in-law passed away about a year ago.  My mother-in-law was devastated.  And then the pandemic hit and she was shut in for months.  She's very lonely and depressed and my wife wants her to move in with our family. I can see a lot of benefits.  She could help with the kids and the bills.  We have enough room. And it's not like I don't like her or anything.  But having her here all the time sounds like A LOT. I'm afraid every argument I have with my wife is going to become two against one.  And even though she won't admit it, my wife is definitely very easily annoyed by her mother and I don't even think she could handle having her here constantly.  I don't know what the right decision is.  Has anyone had their in-laws move in with them?  How did you make it work?


Son-In-Law in Sqlnnel (note: his misspelling, not mine)​

My answer was not complicated.  Just do it.

When it comes to family, you sometimes make changes to your life that seem hard, and yet...are they?

This past weekend, I traveled with my husband to retrieve my 80 year old parents from their little homestead in South Texas.  We brought them to Missouri to live with us.

Permanently, you ask?  Well, we don't know yet.  But I will tell you this:  it is exactly as hard as I expected, and it is also exactly the right thing for them.

Here's my parents a few years back, we call them Honey and Pop.

When I was growing up, my mother's cousin Mary Ann and her husband Thomas had an older family friend living with them--and she stayed until she passed away.  I will always remember how their entire family loved Hattie--and how they cared for her in her twilight years. 

I also spent a lot of time watching shows like The Waltons and wishing that my grandmother lived closer to us.  Who wouldn't want a multigenerational household?  Look how happy they are! Well, that's cause they were made for TV.

Would I recommend it to everyone? No.  But arriving at home yesterday to find my father standing out in my backyard smiling? Priceless. And he greeted me with love. Totally worth it.  

Later, I cleared a shelf in the bathroom for my mom to store her toiletries, and she was so grateful. Really, really, worth it.  The chance to offer comfort, when I thought I had missed my opportunity, was such a valuable moment in my day.

If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught me--family and friends are all you need.  You don't need more stuff.  You don't even need 'more' money.  You do need to love and cherish the people who mean the most to you, because when you lose them, they are gone forever.  

I'd like to think you might feel inspired to call your mama right now.  Just do it. Do it.

P.S. If you can't call Mama, call your Dad. And if you have lost them both, just know that someone, somewhere, loves you.  Show them you love them, too, in whatever way you can. But wash your hands first, and wear a mask. :)