I love my in-laws. I really, truly do. In fact, truth be told, there have been times when I wished they were my own parents. (Though obviously that would mean I married my brother. Which, EW.) They have strong faith and an incredible sense of family. My mother-in-law is one of seven children. Her parents were amazing people. Married almost 75 years, and so completely in love from beginning to end. Grandmother died just a few weeks ago, after her health deteriorated over the past few months. She was receiving hospice care at the home of one of her daughters and her husband was able to be right there beside her. He went to take a nap in the recliner next to her bed. Before laying down he took her hand, looked into her eyes and said “I love you”. She said “I love you” back. He laid down to sleep. When he awoke, she had passed. That story has nothing to do with my rant – it was just so amazing and beautiful I had to share.
So the rant.
Okay so with seven children, naturally there are also tons of grandchildren and also some great grandchildren. Most live on the East coast, though there’s a contingent in California, and us up in the Pacific Northwest. Being the awesome matriarch that she was, there was a huge memorial service that became almost more of a family reunion. Everyone went. Everyone, that is, except one other cousin, and our family. And wouldn’t you know that MIL made a point to tell Husband that in an email today, and then to spell out how special the service was and all the different ways his cousins contributed. Can you say GUILT TRIP?
We were very sorry not to be able to go. If we still lived on the east coast, of course we would have gone. But from here, that’s a lot of plane tickets and time away. Should just Hubby have gone? Maybe. Probably.
But here’s the thing. BOTH times my grandmothers died – first my Dad’s mom, a week before Christmas, and then my mom’s mom a few years later right after Thanksgiving – his parents were at our house for a visit. So both times, it was pretty much impossible for me to go. Honestly, the blame is not theirs. My dad’s mom died so close to Christmas that they rushed to do the service I think in hopes of having it not hang over the holiday so there wasn’t really time for me to go. And my mom’s mom specifically said NOT to have a service because she was raised a Jew and married a Catholic and they basically didn’t have any faith together so she said “where would you have the service”? (And for the record, isn’t that what funeral homes are for? But no one listened to me. And my mom had a “special” Memorial Day picnic in her honor that May which was supposed to fill that place, and I did go to that.) But it was very hard for me to have those losses while entertaining my in-laws and obviously they are aware that I didn’t go to those services. So why the huge guilt trip on Husband when he doesn’t go?
He called her a few times in recent weeks. We sent a card and some hand-made gifts from the kids. We posted thoughts and well-wishes on FB. It’s not enough.
I guess this isn’t so much a rant as just a vent of frustration. I should have told Husband to go. If he had said “I want to go” I would have said “Go.” But being the woman (and thus the one in touch with emotions) I should have asked if he wanted to go. Work is really stressful for him now. And when he has to travel, it is really really hard on our family because the kids are all going in different directions and I haven’t figured out a way to clone myself. But he should have gone. And I kind of feel like it’s my fault.
And the winner of Best Guilt Trip of The Year goes to…. my MIL.