'You can't put lipstick on a pig'

scarlett2001January 9, 2007

I'm posting this because I want to know what you think. I really don't know if I did the right or wrong thing. Maybe somebody else's perspective will shed some light on it.

My ex and I have been divorced for 16 years, but I had maintained a good relationship with his mother. (It was not a "bitter" divorce or anything.) She became ill about a year ago and during the course of her illness I had driven to her town, brought her various things, took her occasionally to the doctor, etc. I called her about 2 to 4 times a week, and visited, on the average, one or two times a month. She has an adult daughter who lives very close and my ex, who lives farther, but they did not seem to spend too much time with her, in my estimation. Mom often told me she was very lonely and alone "All day and all night". Daughter lives within easy walking distance.

Whe her illness became terminal and she could no longer take care of herself, I called her doctor and he suggested hospice care, which would have trained nurses come in, bathe and feed Mom, take care of her toilet functions and give her meds. I found out that my ex and his sis had the papers to start this FREE hospice service for the past 4 months but had never filled them out. I managed to convince "Sis" that it would be to HER advantage to get this started. I took leave from work to stay at Mom's to see that it was set up. It was a wonderful hospice service, but Mom passed away shortly after.

I was not invited to sit with the family at the funeral, in spite of the empty chairs available - okay, no problem. But now I am being snubbed. It has been more than a month and no call, no thank you card for the flowers, nothing. I called sis and left a brief message that I hoped she was okay, no answer. I have heard from a relative that sis and my ex are "just furious" with me because I dared to intrude

on mom's privacy and bring strangers into the house when she was dying.(Did I mention she was being left alone all day, not able to get up to eat or go to the bathroom?) It's not that I want to be "Thanked" but I don't deserve this, she was my mom, too, in an emotional way.

Well, sorry this is so long. I think you know what the title of this post means.

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There's nowhere to go with this.

16 years after the divorce these people regard you as an intruder. With the woman now passed, they've no reason at all to pretend civility or decorum and they've no reason to be part of your life or make believe they want to be. I suspect they've always been this way and you've always known it . They've just shown you one last time. Rejoice that you're finished with them. And do be finished with them. They don't like you and don't want you around. Forget them and move on.

Regret to acknowledge that versions of your story are quite common.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 11:14PM
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I agree with the previous poster's opinion. But the most important thing is that you helped your mother-in-law during the neediest time in her life. I'm sure she deeply appreciated everything you did for her. You can be proud of yourself and know you did the right thing.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 10:49PM
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Asolo and Socks 12345, thanks for the common sense reality check. I'm just now beginning to think straight again.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 5:42PM
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Scarlett, I have to agree. You did everything right; perhaps they're a bit jealous / envious it was you and not them? "Mom" seemed to enjoy having you there, and while she was sick, of course they didn't mind because it was less that they had to do. See them for what they really are and be done with them. Know that they probably will not give you a thank you, nor a phone call for you're great care for their mother.

I agree with you on the hospice too. One of them should have called sooner. They have to live with it that their mother didn't have this wonderful care. My dad had them for a short time, I can't say enough good about them.

Hang in there. FWIW, after my dad died, 2 weeks later my FIL got ill. When I heard it may be cancer, I sent all sorts of my dad's stuff, the binders I used, files to track meds and a photo album for the hospital room. I also sent thinking of you cards to the mother & sister; the mother has yet to thank me for anything. She actually seemed pissed I wasn't healthy enough to travel a few states over for the funeral

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 6:25PM
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I would give them the benefit of the doubt in that they were hoping that it all would not come true, in strong denial that she was that ill or that she would leave. They have neither the skill nor the coping to deal with any of what was presented to them. At any rate they just could not deal with it properly.
They saw that you were and instead of being grateful, were still in denial. They in being irate at you now are just mad at themselves really because they could not act and you had the presence of mind to do so in every case. You did what they could not. Jealousy comes to mind which shows as anger towards yourself.

Let them be and know that you did all that you could for your Mom too and that is what counts, she knows it and so do they or they will in time. She felt your love and compassion that has not yet touched their cold hearts, another words that they do not have your goodness within themselves. Sounds like the kind of folks you do not need to be with.

God Bless you for your compassion and caring, your sweetness and diligence that you put forth for your Mom. She felt it and knows your heart my dear. You are blessed.

All the best,

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 1:20AM
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Your 'Mom' was blessed to have you in her life. You lovingly cared for her right to the end. Her own children now have to deal with their lack of love and consideration for her. Now that she has passed on, you can let these others go their own selfish ways. You did right and your heart can rest easy.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 2:09PM
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