Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Christmas Letter

Okay, I'm going to rant and rant loudly today.

Why? I just received my annual Christmas letter from my Maw in Law. Every year it's the same thing, loads of praise for my husband's brother, the yuppie with issues against his sibling.  Praises for the brother, bragging on what my sister-in-law does, even if the brother is now married to a different woman. Scant one line mention of my husband. No mention of me or our kids.

I don't care so much about not being mentioned but I have always resented the fact that Maw-in-law brags and brays about the brother in these letters, paragraphs worth, while Jim is rarely mentioned. Jim, sweet guy with a big heart that helps so many people and works hard while taking pride in what he does. I guess normality is just not glamorous compared to us.

We rarely rate more than a simple mention while entire chapters are written about the brother in law the VP and loads about Mrs. Brother in law. I guess it's not very exciting that Jim and I are merely working with the nose to the grindstone, busy with work, family, church and living a regular folks kind of life when the brother is jetting off overseas with his job and the Mrs. is busy building a new home for them and selling their other homes. We can't compete with that.

The particularly sad part of all of this is that Jim put his life on hold for over a month to take care of his mother, set up her financials so that she didn't have to worry and took care of many other things once it became obvious that Maw-in-law was never returning to her tidy apartment in the retirement villa. He did a lot for her once she became ill but all Maw-in-law could say in her letter was how won-der-ful she's been cared for by the brother and new wife.

It was very stressful on Jim and he struggled to do the right things for his mother. Shortly before my husband came home his brother swooped in and moved the Maw-in-law to his town to a nursing home there and his wife has been in charge of the Maw-in-law.

His new wife I've only met a grand total of once, two Christmases ago. The main impression I came away with was that she was so busy in the family trying to make everyone like her, like life is a popularity contest. My inner warning whistle went off when I met her. I can't explain it but...

This is just the topper of booking airline tickets to go to the city they all live in. Jim told me we could stay in one of the brother's three homes. Jim emails them with the dates we'll be down to see them and the Maw-in-Law and asks if it's okay to stay with them only to be given a huge pile of excuses as to why we cannot stay with them. So we're renting a hotel to stay in for the week and Jim is pissed.

I had a sneaking suspicion that something like this might go down because of the fact that Maw-in-law was back in the hospital in September and diagnosed with terminal cancer, given six months to live. Brother made stink about how we didn't come down to help them take care of Maw-in-law. Jim didn't have any sick days left to go down for another month

Jim's brother has always looked down upon us and once told me that he resented the ridiculous amount of attention his parents focused on Jim because Jim had some medical issues as a kid. Brother complains that Jim robbed him of a childhood.

Thought perhaps as that it's obvious that the Maw-in-law is dying that.the brother would be able to bond some with my husband and we'd all pull together in the end. Stupid petty old family history! Gonna make Christmas a bitch, a big old bitch I'd rather not experience.

I can tell it's going to be awfully hard to bite my lip and not tell them all to go to hell.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Maw-in-law may not be all there, and be the recipient of lots of negativity toward your husband. I suspect she's not the root problem, the others are. I hope you and Jim can have a good visit with her, and ignore the assholes who are now primary caregivers.