My own Mom is worried sick about my mother-in-law because she has kept to her room, sometimes eating her oatmeal breakfast as her lunch, and eating her one full meal at night. I can’t blame her for the pain she feels, even if at times she seems to be in fighting form.
How do you let go of a child who doesn’t want to have anything to do with you anymore? Last week, my mother-in-law was telling my mom, it is such a difficult thing to lose a child. Fortunately, my own mother has suffered that misfortune only once, when my elder brother was stillborn four years before I came into this world.
Every morning I prepare my mother-in-law’s breakfast and I whip up a quick lunch which my Mom will heat up later. Today it’s chicken soup. (Reminds me of Chicken Soup for the Soul.) Now when I pray for my Mom, I pray for my mother-in-law, too. Alan has been making a pest of himself almost half-scolding his Mother into eating. I told her he needs to keep bugging his Mom because otherwise, she will be wallowing in her pain and causing herself to get ill. She needs to be scolded into getting better. She needs to be reminded she has other grandchildren and a son who love her. There are good days and there are bad days. We’re trying to get her to go for the good more than the bad.
She still needs to get used to the fact that a child-in-law will care for her like I do, because it is something that she never had before.
My sister-in-law evokes anger in my heart when I remember her saying she has never considered me to be part of her family. But who am I to take issue with that when she has disowned her own brother and mother? Despite that verbal slap on my face, I will not forget that she was the one who accompanied me to the hospital when I had to undergo a D&C after my second miscarraige because Alan was off on a business trip which could not be rescheduled. My mom defends her by saying it was said in anger. Whatever the case may be, I don’t feel I lost a sister because we were hardly friends — but I cannot help but feel resentment when I remember the things that were said against her mother and my husband, her brother.
Tintin asked how I responded.. I responded with calm. I called Alan to plead with him not to respond because I knew he was burning with anger. In all our replies, we remained civil and non-aggressive. Someone had to or expletives would have followed. Despite it all, the anger kept coming forth.
So much anger. As Jayred had said, “..we should be very careful with our words — spoken and written.” Indeed. Even if those who hurled the angry words should feel repentant afterwards, it’s not that easy to erase the memory of the pain of reading or hearing those words in one’s heart. Isn’t it so true that it is so much easier to forgive than to forget?
While I cannot speak for my mother-in-law, knowing how generous a heart she has, I know that she has already forgiven her errant daughter, but human as she is, she is constantly reminded of the painful words that were said. How can you forget your child addressing you by your first name? All my mother-in-law could say was her daughter didn’t even have the decency to address her as Mrs. G.
The healing will take a while. I just hope my mother-in-law has the time to spare. She turns 76 this May and already, making that birthday a happy one is a big challenge to Alan and me, given that it will be celebrated without her two grandchildren, and without the person she took in as a real daughter for the last 32 years. And yet all that my sister-in-law could say to sum up her life with this family was 32 years of hurt. I just hope and pray that her own hurt passes. Maybe then she will remember who it was who nurtured her to be the person that she is now. I just hope it’s not too late and her Mom will still be around to hear her address her again as she rightfully should be called, “Mother.”