July 31, 2011 6:15pm CST
About a week ago when I went over to my parent's home, I could tell both my mom and dad were upset. Just a recap for people who don't know me, my mom is 52 and has dementia very badly. She knows who everyne is, she just forgets how to write, how to brush her teeth, how to flush the toilet, even how to use the toilet if you know what I mean. So I'm sitting there and my mom keeps going to my dad's chair saying the same thing over and over. And my dad keeps trying to tell her to relax and just sit down. That they couldn't do anything about it that day. It had to do with her health. I asked what the deal was and long story short a relative of ours had basically told my dad he was not taking care of my mother correctly. She heard what the relative said, and she kept bringing it up, telling him maybe the relative was right. My dad didn't want to talk about it because he doesn't want anyone to be mad at anyone. And he knew I would be angry with this relative for sticking her nose in his business when they have no idea what it is like to live with and take care of her. I'm really the only one who knows what my dad goes through day in and day out. Not even my sister knows how hard it is for him (and no, the relative in question was not my sister). But I got enough out of him to get the idea of what this relative was basically telling him to do for my mom. I was livid. I wish I could videotape a day in his life and send it to this relative. I knew what I was going to do, and I also knew my dad wouldn't want me to do it, so I didn't tell him. I went home later, waiting until I was calm, and I called the relative in question. We exchanged pleasantries, and I asked if there was advice she had given my dad that could be miscontrued. She was silent for a moment. And then she went into a spiel of what she had said. I explained to her all he did for my mom. I told her what lengths he had gone to to take care of her. The entire time I was respectful. I don't like confrontations, I don't like talking about sensitive subjects. This relative ended up saying she probably needed to call my dad and apologize. I told her it wasn't necessary, but she insisted she was going to. I knew when she called to apologize my dad was going to be upset with me for defending him. But I don't like it when someone is doing something good, something right, and they are criticized for it. I felt like as his daughter, and him being the good man he was, that I needed to defend him. I called my sister later than night and asked her if she thought I did the right thing. She told me if he didn't feel the need to defend himself, then I shouldn't have defended him. And I guess she is right. If he didn't care to speak up for himself than maybe I should have dropped it. But I know he likes to keep the peace and had no intention of getting into with a relative, especially a lady. Thankfully, my dad never mentioned it to me. I know this relative called to apologize, but he didn't say anything. And I'm glad. I think he must have known I meant well, and that it was probably hard on me too. So I'm glad he didn't say anything about me defending him. What would you have done? Do you feel the need to defend your family and friends when you know for sure they are in the right?