Monday, November 30, 2009


Today I brought my mom to the church services that they hold in the nursing home that is attached to the assisted living where my mom lives. Every week a pastor from a different church in town (they take turns) comes and holds a short service. The one this week was really dry. He kind of jumbled a bunch of bible verses together and I didn't understand what the point of the sermon was, so I know my mom didn't, then, the songs he chose were unfamiliar, and since most of the "churchgoers" can no longer read or write, that kind of flopped, too. (Most pastors choose things like "Amazing Grace" and "Rock of Ages", hymns that all the seniors know and love).

So on the way back to her apartment, when my mom started to lament that there hadn't been ice cream for lunch, I offered to bring her to Dairy Queen, and she got really excited. Unfortunately, when we got out to my car, I saw that I had a flat tire.

I've been babying my tires, all four of them for weeks now. Every day I need to put air in one or more of them. They're really old, and I've been trying to hold out "for a couple more weeks, until I can afford to get some better ones." But it's just been so hard to come up with that money. I knew I wasn't going to be able to put it off any longer.

My mom was kind of upset about not being able to go to Dairy Queen. So when I called DH to come and help, we took her there first. Then we stopped and bought a can of fix-a-flat and used that to get the car to the tire store, where we left my car for the overnight.

I went home and tried to take a nap before work, but all I could think was "I can only come up with enough money (maybe) to buy two used tires at the most. But I know I need four tires. So should I put the two better tires on the back (because that's where the worst tires are) or in the front because that's where one would normally put the "better" tires?" And I was really getting myself down, because it feels like we're just getting farther and farther behind. (I just finally got the bill paid off at the vet's office from when Kirby died and I've started getting the bills from when DH was hospitalized for the H1N1, and I have no idea how to pay those either). It's just been so hard. There's absolutely no wiggle room, for when something like this happens. And my car has 250,000 miles on it, so I know there'll be more "somethings", for sure. I was worried that I might not even have enough "wiggle room" on my credit card for the two used tires. Maybe not even one. I couldn't sleep. But I tried.

When I got up, DH said, "well, I've got some good news, I think..." and I thought he was maybe joking. But he told me that his mom (my mother in law) had called him and he told her about my/our day. And I guess when he told her that I've had four bad tires for a while now and just kept driving, hoping nothing would go wrong, she got kind of angry and told him that I drive too far to be doing that. And he told her that I was doing the best I could. And she told him that she wasn't going to sit home and worry about me driving "all that way" on tires like that, she's buying me four brand new tires(!) When DH told me this, I couldn't stop crying.

It used to be, when DH's mom offered me money, I would always say no. She's not my mom, I'm (supposedly) a self-supporting adult, and I didn't want her to think that I was a "mooch". It's hard for me to realize that at this point, I really don't have much of a choice. I owe so many people for so many favors and handouts. It's really a blow to my pride. I just keep telling myself that things won't be like this forever (I hope, anyhow), and someday I'll be able to show my mother in law and everyone else who's helped me out, that I really do appreciate and remember.


rockygrace said...

That was nice of your mother-in-law. There's nothing wrong with taking help when it's offered.

Grace. said...

Learning to be a graceful and grateful receiver of benefits is harder than it looks. But keep practicing! It's not like you don't need the help. My rich sister was in town for Thanksgiving, and I have a lot of the same issues with her, and a lot of your same needs! I'm working on just being a grateful recipient.

Miz Kizzle said...

That's so nice of your MIL to help out. She knows how hard you work and if you had an accident because of your bad tires, who would take care of DH and DD? You're the lynchpin of your household and I'm sure your MIL knows that.
And Grace is right. It's easy to give but it's hard to swallow your pride and accept help. I'm sure your MIL felt happy and useful to be able to give you a hand.

perphila said...

Accepting help when offered is in no way mooching. You work very hard and everyone knows it.

Veronica Lee said...

I agree with perphila. Accepting help is not mooching. You work very hard and we all admire you.