Ranting about the other mom
To get it out of my system before the kids come over.
my dd is supposed to spend the Christian holidays with her new mother in law.
but the kids will be coming here for dinner because "P...'s mom cancelled Easter last night and he needs cheering up."
This is is the mom who left the wedding before the cake was cut.
The primary source of the problem is her relationship with her new husband - the man she was having an affair with while P's dad was struggling with depression (ok, maybe she couldn't fix him and was miserable and one can't fault her for wanting to be happy - but the kids were out of the house and far away and she never once mentioned to them that she had any concerns about their dad, said anything to their clergy person, or as far as they know encouraged him to seek any medical help.).
She told him she wanted a divorce. And he killed himself. And her response was to actually tell people that that simplified things and left her in a much better financial position. She has never expressed any regret over his death, even to say that she was sorry he couldn't move on with his life, or sorry that her children lost their father.
then she married her lover. And handed all the decisions over to him. He painted the walls of P's childhood bedroom with no warning or opportunity for anyone to photograph the murals P had painted on the walls. He began sorting through P's dad's possessions, deciding what to keep, sell, or throw out, which was stopped by P, his sister, the uncles, my dd, and a u-haul truck. (P's mom said "oh, I don't care. Take anything you want. Except the tools. I think we need the tools." P's dad made beautiful furniture. P makes furniture, the new husband doesn't even do minor household repairs. But ok, no will. No tools.)
the new (unemployed) husband burned through all of the savings from P's parents marriage and decided they should sell the house and invest in a Land lease house he could get a great deal on from this guy he knows who bought it in forclosure. So they did that. Six months ago. The house needs a lot of work, but new husband was going to fix it up. So far, (based on Dd's observations from a short visit in March) he has fixed nothing.
The new husband insisted on walking down the aisle clinging to the opposite side of his wife (actually, slightly in front, pulling) when P seated his mom for the wedding. She has refused to see her children without her husband present except for a bridal shower for dd - her daughter was there and she came late, left early, and spoke only to me and dd.
She was very pleasant. Vague, distant, but pleasant. She said many many nice things about my daughter and virtually nothing about her son. When I said nice things about her son, she reacted as if I was telling her about some guy I met on the bus.
I love her son. He is so easy to love! And she is pushing him out of her life because he "can't accept her new husband (dd says he has never been anything but distantly polite. Even the day when all his uncles came and helped move stuff out of the house, she said he just shut down and nodded or shook his head when people asked him questions.) and disagrees with their choices." "Mom, I don't think that's a good idea. Do you know how a land lease works?"
Easter was cancelled because when she told them she is getting donkeys, they weren't excited.
Glad they can come to your house instead! I'm sure that will make both your daughter and sil feel a little better.
Oh that is terrible, so many ways this is causing harm. I can't even imagine the poor kids in this. Seems like some serious mental issues, I know it is popular to call everyone a narcissist these days but this really sounds like it. And that can do a lot of damage to a person. Everyone who is touched by people like this need to get it vented out of their system, maybe a good shower and a dousing in something like holy water. Yeah, been there but nothing like this extreme.
I hope that he has some support with his siblings or with a counselor. I hope you have a good dinner. Check in and let me know how it goes, I can't imagine he will be in great shape but I hope it does cheer him up.
He and his sister are really close.
My my mom tries to put a good face on everything and her theory is that the woman lost her mind from guilt when her husband killed himself. I do have it from P and his sister that their mom was a completely different person when they were children. But possibly she has just always been a person who follows the lead of the man in her life and (granted, speak nothing but good of he dead) all the stories I have heard about P's dad paint a wonderful father.
and even if she is "crazy from guilt" there is nothing the kids can do about it except let go. She's almost 70 years old and still working full time. Her sister thinks she's fine. Elder services is not going to swoop in and rescue her.
Make him laugh today. Ask him if any of them are going to be Jenny's, or if they are all jackasses?
I think that makes me feel better that she wasn't always this way, at least he got a better childhood than the way she currently is.
edited to add: I would also keep him busy, help in the kitchen, dying eggs, playing a game. I love dying easter eggs with natural substances,
Yes, it also makes me feel better that he had good parents when he was a kid.
and omg! The Easter things. Thank you for suggesting that I do Easter things - I know this sounds stupid, but it had not occurred to me because Easter is a kid holiday in my house, not a church holiday (which is why they are supposed to go to his family). I was thinking about how happy dd was going to be to have buttered matzo, and I completely forgot that he is going to be missing his holiday and not just his family. I don't know what his important things are, but I can do something, and I can ask about them.
Chicken, you are really thoughtful. Sometimes it takes a village to help think of all these things! I also pass off the religious thing to the other relatives when I can. Our tradition is Indian food buffet. We can go any time and I can get great deals on the chocolate bunnies today. Are they Jewish, doing passover? We live in a largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood but I still don't have all the holidays down.
My "family" is weird. Dh and I were raised mainstream American Protestant church Christian.
my kids not so much. The matzo is a holdover from Passover with "uncle" Jon. And there are many other Jewish traditions from their childhoods, along with random Yiddish words in their vocabularies that used to get them odd looks in Iowa and Ohio!
we did egg hunts and Easter baskets too, but not so much after they got older. I'll have to find an "Easter bush" and have him make me an egg - it's decorated with blown shells carefully designed by friends and relatives over the years. It used to be a potted flowering tree, but I didn't buy one this year. And I have seeds for their garden I can put in a basket.
CL: that woman sounds horrible or MI. I am so glad you are going to make Easter special for your SIL.