By Elaine Marze
I have a very special praise these days. My mother-in-law, Inez Dowden Marze, woke up in her own bed in her own home instead of a hospital, rehab or nursing home for the first time since Christmas Day, 2020. She said food tasted good to her for the first time in a long while. Daughter-in-law, Sallie, had roast, rice, gravy and peas cooked last night, and her son, Rick, made the cornbread using his mother’s recipe, and he is frying fish for her today. Oh, hallelujah, Mamaw Marze is a happy lady even though physically she still has major issues, but she’s always loved cooking and eating … especially when surrounded by her family.
Mrs. Marze had been isolated from her loved ones because of Covid prior to breaking her leg Christmas Day, and as a result had to have knee and hip replacements in addition to the surgery for the broken leg. Like many others, this past year of Covid has caused untold emotional and psychological damage to this lady who doesn’t ask much out of life except getting to stay in her home and enjoying her precious family. I don’t think that is asking too much for someone 93 years old who has lived a life of loving service to her late husband and kids. This homecoming would not be possible without the help and dedication of her children, their spouses and grandchildren.
Her house needed some remodeling done to be wheelchair accessible so over the past months Rick and son-in-law Bobby took the lead on getting the house ready for her return. She still needs help getting from the bed to wheelchair and can’t be left alone anymore, but her kids are willing to step up for that too. Bonnie and her beautiful nurse-daughter, Crystal, stayed with her the first night home, and the Marze / Moore families are going to be taking shifts and whatever else it takes to allow Mrs. Marze to live at home for however long possible. No one knows what the future will bring but for now this is an answer to many prayers that this lady got to come home, unmasked and able to touch her loved ones, and also where she can enjoy and “monitor” the food preparation! She gets a little bossy about what goes on in her kitchen.
Some people talk about love, but other people back up their words with action. There are a lot of unsung issues in caring for a sick or immobilized person that not everybody is willing to take on. In this family, members step up when needed, and that’s a real blessing and praise. After one of Mrs. Marze’s surgeries, (I think it was the pace maker) she wanted to take a shower but couldn’t get the surgical site wet so I had to get in the shower with her to scrub while she held plastic over the wound. I’m not easy about a lot of care giving procedures, but I owed her. Many years ago after my son was born prematurely, and I had to go home with a broken tailbone and leave my baby in ICU, Mrs. Marze took a week off from work to spend with me making “good home cooked food ‘cause that baby needs healthy milk” (I was sending breast milk to the hospital). Back then she didn’t have any confidence in my cooking abilities. I don’t know how much peas and cornbread I ate that week, but the only place I was comfortable was floating on a rubber pillow in the bathtub so that’s where she served those good home-cooked meals to me. Care giving can be messy and uncomfortable for all concerned, but PTL Inez Marze has set a good example for her kids and in-laws.
I salute my husband’s family for their willingness to give of themselves and their precious time in order to bring Mamaw home. Whereas some families can’t get along without jealousies, bickering and fighting, Luther, Sr and Inez Marze did an excellent job raising their kids, as is evidenced by their loyalty to her now. As the oldest of five siblings I choose to believe Junior and his dad are among that “great cloud of witnesses” in heaven that are watching and celebrating this Anacoco homecoming.