Sunday, July 22, 2012


When I met my mother-in-law I went in expecting to meet Mrs. Cleaver as this is EXACTLY how my husband described her. It turns out my mother-in-law may be more like Marie Barone than June Cleaver. She's head strong, stubborn, and autocratic. I wasn't sure what to say or do; how to act or react around her. I mostly tried to do my best to avoid her while not inhibiting her from seeing her grand kids or Scott.We struck a silent and uneasy agreement; one that would not last long as it would turn out.

Diane has always been a woman who intimidated me. There's just no getting around it. She carries an aura about her. She's kind but can be quick to judgement; sweet but vicious if necessary. To be fair I can come off as snobby or superior because of how quiet and reserved I am. I can appear emotionless and cold as my skills at social interaction are severely lacking. I’m weird. In truth, we are polar opposites and connecting was nearly, if not, completely impossible.

And then something changed. Preston was born with his heart defect and everyone suffered. Every person who loved him bore a weight of dread that you could never know unless you shared the same experience. It equalized us. I kept family up to date with my blog which now enabled Diane a peek at my innermost thoughts and our relationship began to evolve.

Preston got better and things got back to “normal”. Health was now good, I felt free. Then last month I suffered greatly at the hands of an unfortunate condition and the house fell into disarray. I kept the kids intact, alive, fed and bathed but that was all I could do. At the height of my pain I literally sobbed in the bathtub and begged God for death.

Three doctors saw me but kept sending me home while only increasing my medication. I phoned my own mother in desperation knowing she was on vacation and might be able to assist me. I needed compassion and companionship, but my mother couldn’t make it. I was lost. Finally a doctor treated my problem and slowly I have been on the mend. But the surgery left me wholly unable to care for my kids or the house.

My husband phoned Diane. I was done. I was in so much pain I didn’t care how horrid my house looked when she came, or how dishevelled the kids were. I needed help, and so it was time to eat crow.

People say thing happen for a reason. In the beginning I couldn’t imagine what that might be. Now I get it. You see I’m not good at asking anyone for help. I’d usually prefer to suffer silently, excruciatingly rather than whisper those four little letters out loud. I swallowed my pride and I allowed Diane not only to care for me but also my house and kids.

Thank you, Diane.

I can never express to you how much I appreciated your help, indeed how much I truly needed it. The kindness you showed me in this brutal experience has been a life preserver.

I love you.



Unknown said...

this is beautiful that through differences, love still remained. all my love to you carrie, in your recovery, in your experiencing love even more deeply, in all of your days. xox

carrie said...

Thanks so much Tara! You are the sweetest!

Unknown said...

Such a touching piece. I hope you're doing a bit better. I wish I could be helpful!

carrie said...

Aww thanks so much Shosh! I really appreciate all the good thoughts!

Renn @ The Big C and Me said...

Carrie this was a lovely and honest account of a "reformed" relationship. Congrats on allowing help in. It isn't easy! I'm sorry to hear you had surgery, hope you are on the mend soon. {{{hugs}}}

Heather said...

It's amazing what true hardship can do to or for a relationship. I'm so sorry for what you are going through, Carrie! I wish more of us were around to help. I'd totally bring you some meals! Even though we've never met and your husband would be all "tgere's this weird American in the kitchen feeding the kids and doing the dishes..."

carrie said...

@Renn-thanks Renn! I'm glad we managed to connect to!

@Heather- Bahahah you make me laugh! I'm sure my husband would just be happy that he wasn't the one doing the dishes! lol. Thanks for your concern!

Christie said...

Isn't it amazing how relationships can be transformed and strengthened when we let our guard down. How wonderful that your MIL came through for you and how sweet of you to pay her a public tribute. The world could use more of those.

carrie said...

@Christie- thanks so much. It was really amazing how she didn't even bat an eye at helping me. She just came in and handled everything. I was so grateful and even let a few tears fall while I was thanking her.