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Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Posted by lamom (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 24, 09 at 14:44

My stepgrandkids(SGS8 & SGS2) birthdays are both in January and have both passed. DH and I forgot about them. DS6 has an aggessive cancer as I have discussed here before and was hospitalized for a fever and infection week before last, was undergoing radiation, chemo and other things last week. Their birthdays just fell of of the radar.

I have pulled out some gifts for them (I keep a stock of new things that I buy on sale plus regifts in a closet to keep costs down and for situations like this.) DH wants to take them to their apartment in the suburbs today.

DS6 had radiation and chemo yesterday, woke up from 4am to 5:30am vomiting this morning and is home with me. I don't think he will need to go back to the hospital today but we never know. I really would like DH to stick close because of this.

SS29 and babymama haven't shown a lot of interest, babymama none, in my very sick son's condition. Not the kids fault I know. My better spirit says wrap up the gifts, let DH take them to his grandsons and call him if something major happens. The other part says these kids can wait some more. SS29 and babymama are pretty immature so they won't understand our priorities.

Any thoughts here?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

i am so sorry about your son. it mist be so tough on him and everyone in the family...

of course your priority right now should be wiht your son, no question. but i think it is OK for DH to drive up to his grandkids and give them the gifts and then come back home.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I say let them wait. the birthdays have already passed. you need your DH for support and your son needs both of you. If they can't understand that who cares? let it roll off. Hopefully they will never have to experience anything so heartbreaking as watching a child suffer that way. Do what your gut tells you to do. I am saying a prayer for your Dear Son right now.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Hi,
So sorry to hear your son isn't feeling well again. My opinion? Age 8 is old enough to understand that presents may come late and Age 2 is young enough not to care.

Call the "kids" (or have DH do it) and tell them what is going on with your son. Let them know you have gifts for the little ones that you'd like to give them but your son is very ill. Ask them if they'd like to come pick them up, or if they can let the grandkids know you love them and explain to them why their gifts are late (their uncle is very sick).

Late gifts are hardly an emergency. I'd want my DH next to me too, and I'm sure it's a comfort to your child that his daddy is near.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I am so sorry to hear your son is having such a rough time. :( My heart goes out to all of you.

I can totally understand why you'd want your DH close to home and if you think it's better for him to just stick around, then by all meanns, do that. Like Cindy said, the birthdays have already passed so I'm sure a few more days or a week or whatever won't matter.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

DH has decided to not go to SS's home. Took DS6 to his office for a change of scenery and if DS6 is up to it, will take him to SD35's home. SS29 wants to bring SGkids to our house tomorrow. I said if they are healthy as DS6 can't be around anyone sick ok.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

you could always mail it to them... my kids absolutely LOVE getting things in the mail. My mom lives all of a mile away from us but mails things to the kids because it is so exciting for them... just a thought.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Yeah...our DD6 gets "letters" in the mail all the time from gramma & grampa....who live 10 minutes from us and see her several times a week! So maybe give them a jingle to let them know to watch for something special in the mailbox. Let the "adults" know that you're sorry you missed the actual day, but you're "sure they understand, and would do exactly the same if one of their kids was sick."

If your little guy is feeling puny still, he might be most comfy in his bed. But sometimes kids really want to get out of their house, even when they feel bad. Maybe he'd want to go for a ride. If so, give him some Zofran, bring a bucket, and make a day of it.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Nicksmom,

DH took him to the office and to the supermarket to let him out of the house although his white blood cell counts are low. Zofran does help with the nausea but his nausea is not the only issue.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_PT2

Well, I put together some gifts for the SGKs for the bdays, wrapped them and had them ready yesterday. DH decided to not drive to the burbs to deliver them because SS29 said he would be in town today to help SD35 paint her new house here in town and would bring the kids. OK, so the plan was for the kids to come to our house to get their gifts and play with DS6 while SS29 helped his sister paint her house.

Surprise, surprise, SS29 doesn't show, tells SD35 that he and babymama are going on a turnaround bus trip to a casino and they have to spend the day getting ready! A CASINO. The man with no money, needs handouts, cries poor, asks for work, his poor kids have nothing, then no shows for the work is spending his day preparing for an overnight bus trip to a Casino about 75 miles from his home.

Help me understand. While you do that, I am taking the wrapping off of the kids gifts. One of the gifts was a regift of DS6 so I will give it back to him since it is really his. Doesn't really compensate but it's a start.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

why punish the grandkids because their parents are jerks...

I would mail the kids their presents with a nice little note attached.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I agree, the gifts are for the kids. Why would you punish the kids because their father is an idiot? If his parents were wealthy, responsible and hard working, would you still get the grandchildren a gift for their birthday? Or would you say "oh, they don't need it"?

I wouldn't do a damn thing for your SS29 but I wouldn't take it out on the innocent kids. Look at it this way, the gifts might be able to compensate the kids for having such a loser for a father.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Dear Lamom,

My heart goes out to you, your DH and your precious little boy. There is nothing that compares to having a child's life in danger....nothing.

I think it would be healthier for you to do your best to let go of any expectations that you may for SS29. I understand that you are hurt by his actions concerning your son and I would think, that unless there is divine intervention in his life, you are always going to be hurt by his actions. When your value systems are so different from one another there really isn't any common ground on which you can meet.

If it were me I think I would talk with DH and ask what he would like to do for his grand kids and then let him take care of it from now on. Or at least while your DS is so ill. When your DS is well then you can decide if you want to become involved. I would kindly remind DH of up coming events and the like in which he may want to give a gift, make a visit or a phone call and then let him do it.

I think that you need to concentrate solely on your son, yourself and DH. If SS hasn't come around by now I doubt if he will. Try to let it go. In the big picture of things, what does it really matter? It just is what it is.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your struggles, your pain and your fears where your DS is concerned. May God Bless you....Kim


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

"Posted by mom_of_4 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 25, 09 at 21:40

why punish the grandkids because their parents are jerks...
I would mail the kids their presents with a nice little note attached."

I couldn't agree more with this advice. Plus, the mailing directly to SGK's is a good way to completely separate the relationship with SGK's from the one with SS. Which is definitely what needs to happen, because as long as SS perceives (correctly, in fact) that you've somehow gotten it into your head to punish SGK's because your kid has cancer, he will continue to be an a**hole to you (which he definitely is being). There is absolutely no reason you have to reward HIS a**hole behavior (which is, namely, blowing off your polite gestures repeatedly in a most impolite way), but you also don't have to keep feeding the resentment in him that is driving it. Hopefully, with time, he will see that you treat his kids with unconditional respect and concern and he will start realizing he needs to step up and do that some more with your kid.


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RE: to add

I also agree with believer that YOU personally do not have to feel obligated to go above and beyond for the SGK's. The key thing, really, is that you don't insist DH "disengage", because that is what's hurting SS and getting twisted into his a**hole behavior out of that resentment, that he feels like he's losing his father and that his kids are losing their grandfather.

It's also important to remember the distinction between "not going above and beyond" and being unnecessarily hurtful, or between "disengaging" from SS/SGK's and acting like they don't even exist. Depending on the circumstances and what expectations may have been raised, "forgetting" the SGK's birthdays may have crossed the line from neutral non-issue to an actually hurtful, obliterative act. No one is saying you have to buy them presents, so it's not about the material apsect. Not acknowledging their birthdays at all ---no card, no phone call--- is the hurtful part. But again POTENTIALLY. If they're really not used to hearing from you and other relatives on their birthdays, then it probably wasn't so terrible that they didn't hear from you, given the health circumstances you're having to be on top of. But if there was reasonable expectation that you would acknowledge the birthdays, then that would seem to me a bare minimum requirement for preserving family peace/not escalating hurt and discord. It would also be important to consider whether this one case of "forgetting" their birthdays is a forgivable fluke lapse or part of an overall pattern. And again (and no offense), the part that would have been possibly the most hurtful is them not hearing from **DH**.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

every time SS does something incosinderate or stupid you do something to hurt his children.

last time you donated their Christams gifts to charity and now you are unwrapping their gifts.

I wouldn't do anything for SS, but how is that kids' fault that he is so immature?

if you don't want to do anything for the kids, then don't. But you promise, and then take it away.

Gifts are gifts, you can't have strings attached. It sounds like: if your dad is nice, you'll get the gifts; if he is stupid, then you don't get the gifts. What does it teach his children?

If you forgot their birthdays because your son is ill, it is understandable, but not giving them anything because you dislike their dad, is not a very kind gesture. You cannot expect kindness of others if you are not willing to extend yours.


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more

I just wondered what would be my reaction if my dad would not call DD on her birthday. Maybe if there was no phone connection, he'd call the next day. But if he completely forgot...I'd either be very hurt or assumed his memory goes down...But then I guess my dad is much older than your DH. My point is that maybe SS acts this way because he is hurt that dad didn't even call or visit.

Unless dad apologized and explained what happened, SS will hold the resentment. but again it is not kids' fault that grandpa is that uninvolved that he does not even remember their birthdays.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

serenity and finedreams,

The step grandkids birthdays fell during the week DS6 was hospitalized so it was a lapse of memory not some pattern. I have never forgotten a birthday or Christmas or anything else. Unlike my skids and my son. Missed birthdays, blown off parties, no gifts.

I'm not taking out my frustrations on the grandkids. I reminded DH about their birthdays the other day not the other way around per usual. I just don't feel good about doing so much for those kids when their parents do so little for mine. I also don't like doing so much when the parents are so cavalier about my efforts and take so much for granted. If going to a casino when you supposedly don't have any money is more important than picking up your kids birthday presents then what does that say?


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

it says that the parents are probably a little more than slightly selfish and would make me want to be even kinder and more gracious to their kids if for no other reason than to set a positive example.


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On punishing stepgrandkids

A few of you have mentioned that I am punishing DH's grandkids because a. my kid has cancer and b. SS29 is an A_hole.

I do not feel that I am punishing these kids. Maybe their parents. It is not because my kid has cancer. I'm not mad at the world or SS because my son has cancer. It is because SS doesn't care that my kid, his 1/2 brother for what it's worth, has cancer. It is because he doesn't care but still keeps his hand out for money, favors and presents for his kids. It's all about B.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I am so sorry for your little boy, I hope he recovers soon.

I don't know how long you and your husband have been married, but a lot of times adult stepchildren are stuck in a weird position. Please don't think I'm defending his actions, but just trying to explain. Being a lot older than a half-sibling is weird for most people. It doesn't feel like brother/sister relationships at all and a lot of adult stepkids either don't know how to connect to a much younger child or have their own immediate family that already takes up their time. They didn't choose for one of their parents to remarry later in life and unfortunately, many people just do not have coping skills for weird/odd situations. Your situation is also compounded that your little boy is sick, I know people that do not know how to approach sick people and don't know what to say or do. Perhaps your SS is that way and it already sounds like he has his hands full with himself and his family.

At this point, I would tell your husband that everything is now up to him. Remembering holidays, gifts, whatever...the relationship with his SS is his to maintain and keep and you do not wish to be involved.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I don't think anyone here (myself included) thinks you're *intentionally*, *consciously* wanting to punish the SGK's... only that there is a danger that the net effect is close to that. And that this is likely the way SS perceives it.

And you may or may not be 'angry at the world', but you'd definitely have a right to, given what your kid is having to deal with. It's very tragically unfair. Your emotions are perfectly natural and understandable given the circumstances. None of what you've written about yourself and your actions means you're a terrible person.

It's just that if you want to do your part to preserve family harmony, and if you want the SS to have sympathy/empathy for you, you're going to have to work on the empathy for how HE's feeling, too. And yes, it's natural too for a parent of a sick child to ---when it gets down to it--- feel like the feelings/needs of anyone healthy are frivolous and pale in comparison. Again, this doesn't make you a bad person for having those feelings internally.

But it just bears remembering that not everyone is walking in your exact shoes, and everyone has their own crap to deal with, their own pain, frustrations and disappointments too, which are very real to them. Human beings are generally focused on their own/their own children's problems much, much more than anyone else's. That's human nature, but it's true that things with other humans tend to go better the more we try to rise above that as best we can and continually remind ourselves that we are not the only ones with struggles. If you can't always muster it every single time, no one is going to crucify you. But making real attempts is what's important. I would say the same thing to your SS, I would say the same thing to myself, or to anyone under the sun... it's definitely an ongoing process for us all. But to get back onto your topic, in a nutshell everyone in your situation could stand to ratchet up their empathy level several notches. Except your son. All he needs to do is focus on enjoying his life as much as he can and being a kid and getting better.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

"I'm not mad at the world or SS because my son has cancer."

OK...well, I'm a Pediatric Oncology nurse. And if you're not mad at the world becuase your son has cancer, you are the ONLY mother I have ever met that isn't. You have every right to be mad...at the world, at God, at everyone. You are human, and it is a natural response to a life-threatening situation. I've been at this a good long time, and EVERY single one of the families I care for are angry...at the world, at God, at everyone.

At any rate, even if your SS is a good-for-nothing, hand-out-seeking SOB, his kids aren't. It's not their fault that their dad sucks at life. Reconsider, if you can.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I usually only read here and never post....but you ARE punishing the kids! You just said above that his kids have nothing, yet you are not giving them their birthday presents because their dad is a jerk! I understand that you are upset that your SS doesn't seem to care about what you and your child are going through, but you have to be the bigger person because none of this has to do with the children. Not giving the kids their presents is not punishing their father, it is punishing them. He probably already told them you had presents for them. I know you are hurt and upset, but please give the poor children their birthday presents! It is not their fault they have a crappy father, in fact, they should get some extra love because of this, not less.

I read your previous post about the Christmas Presents too and I feel the same way about that. Even if your stepson never gives your child a gift and never appreciates what you do for the kids...the kids WILL appreciate it. Don't punish them for having an idiot for a father.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

"Even if your stepson never gives your child a gift and never appreciates what you do for the kids...the kids WILL appreciate it. Don't punish them for having an idiot for a father."

I have to agree with this, too.

Not giving the SGKs their presents is punishing them. I understand you are angry at their dad and I don't blame you a bit. I think it is really sad that he is so selfish and doesn't appear to care about anyone outside of himself--including his own kids. But I think, too, that makes it all the more important for you to extend kindness to his children. They, just like your son, are innocent in all of this. They don't deserve to have an @$$ for a father.

I think giving them the birthday presents is the right thing to.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

"OK...well, I'm a Pediatric Oncology nurse"

God bless you for doing such a hard job.

Lamom,
Just try to seperate the two. Send the gifts and keep being a grandma to the SGKs. They will need you in their life because someday they will realizem, if they have not already, what a buttwag their dad is.

If not just do what you have to do to get through this time.

How is your little guy doing?


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now,nicksmom?

nicksmom, I have definitely been mad at God for the unfairness of it and from reading my posts you know I'm mad at my trifling SS29. But not the world. My son has embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, very aggressive and quite advanced when he was diagnosed in late August.

I have gotten to know a lot of parents at DS6's pediatric oncology clinic and most are not mad at the world. A lot ARE mad at MIA family members just as I am.

It is hard to not be angry with uncaring, disengaged relatives. I don't think the problems people have are unimportant although I do think a lot are small in comparison. My perspective on my other life problems has totally changed because of this. The economy is wreaking havoc with our finances. Before this we worried. Now, we shrug our shoulders, pay the medical bills first, believe things will eventually rebound and negotiate with everything else.
My SS29 is a special case because he is still trying to ride DHs gravy train. We need all hands on deck. Sorry for the mixed metaphor. Where are those grammer police from the other thread, LOL?


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whose grandkids are these anyway?

Well, if I'm punishing the grandkids for the jerk parents I don't know what to say about that except Whose grandkids are they anyway? Not mine thank the Lord. Like most women I've done most of the work for years in this area and for what? These people resent me, don't love my son, have the weird adult stepkids estrangement or whatever it is, but I'm supposed to do the heavy lifting for holidays, birthdays, relationship management etc. etc. etc. Since SS29 doesn't feel like DS6 is his brother, what does that make his kids to me?

I thought I was doing something by putting some gifts together for them, again, just to have SS29 not bother to get them, again. Is it my fault that SS29 went to a casino instead of picking up his kids presents? If anyone is punishing those kids it's him.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Lamom,

Gifts are just that, GIFTS. You are not obligated to give a gift to anyone if you don't want. It's a choice. We usually feel obligated when it's family because we love them and we care about their feelings. They may expect it and if a gift isn't given, their feelings will be hurt so, even though giving a gift is not an obligation it sometimes feels like it is. But, it's just my opinion that gifts, even to family, are not an obligation but something that is done because we want to... whether it's to see the joy it may bring to them or if it's to avoid hurting them by not getting them something. (or whatever other reason we may have) Nobody is certainly responsible for buying gifts for people that treat them poorly or resent them, especially if you don't care about their feelings since they don't care about yours. That being said, I still have to disagree with your decision to revoke the gifts. Your decision to revoke the gifts are based on the actions of someone else. If you were to tell me that the kids did something mean or rude and were not deserving of your kindness, then I might agree with you... but you have only said what an ass their father is. Unless the kids have done something wrong, beside being born to a father that would rather go to a casino than pick up their gifts from someone that's trying to do something nice, I don't see why the kids are losing out for something their dad did.

You are right, their father is punishing them (just by being the way he is) but if you treat them as if they have done something wrong because of their father's actions, then you are also punishing them. However you try to justify your feelings or actions is none of anyone's business but you posted about this to get input and the consensus is that the children are being punished. The fact that you got them gifts, wrapped them and now taking them away is not the same as deciding to just not give any gifts because of how you feel or how they treat you. You are not obligated, like I said. It's the act of changing your mind to do something for one person because of something another person did.... something the recipients have NO control over.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

"It's just that if you want to do your part to preserve family harmony, and if you want the SS to have sympathy/empathy for you, you're going to have to work on the empathy for how HE's feeling, too."

Serenity and all, in the past I have given a birthday party for SGS8 at my house, arranged for his therap, babysat, driven to the burbs to pick him up and take him places since his parents don't, given him lots of presents, bought clothes and on and on. When SGS2 was a baby I offered to babysit him and wanted to spend time with him. When I called to ask they either didn't return my calls or I got one excuse after the other. Babymama told me that SS didnt want the baby to have SGS8's problems (he has many emotional issues) and to prevent this didn't want the baby spending time with too many people. Too many people, that's me. But I need to think about HIS feelings.

OK, I'll send those kids some gifts. I don't want these kids to pick up their parents resentments (although SGS8 already has from listening to them. He once spent the night and while in the bunk bed with DS6 said that "everyone hates your mom." He is very loud so I heard him say it and that is not the only time. More importantly, they are my DS6 closest relatives so I'll do the right thing, again. I don't expect any empathy in return.

Some of you have pointed out that you think that I am "punishing" them because my son has cancer. They probably think the same way since more than likely the only thing that they are thinking about is how he affects THEM. No birthday gifts, fewer handouts and even less grandad attention which wasn't a whole lot from the start. That he is sick and was hopitalized doesn't even register. Throw SS29's resentment of DS's existence siphoning off what should be a grandfather to his kids in to the mix. I get it.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Lamom,

I have never walked in your shoes. I pray that I never have a child that is so seriously ill. I don't think that you are punishing your step grand kids. I think that because you are under the most enormous stress that is possible for a mother you are acting on the frustration and hurt that you feel because of your SS's rude and (IMO) cruel behavior towards you and your DS. If you were not dealing with a seriously ill child I think you are justified in feeling what you do towards your SS.

There is no reason in the world why men cannot become responsible for the relationships between themselves and their children. I will repeat what I said before....Let your DH take care of what needs to be done for his grandchildren at this time in your life. Do not do anything to stand in the way of whatever he wants to do and you won't have any regrets down the line. Why should this be your responsibility on a good day let alone during this particular time in your life.

It is true that when you are hurting and afraid those who are selfish and show no compassion towards your plight are even more irritating. All the more reason for you to disengage.

I am a Christian and have difficulty with the injustices of this world. It seems that God has favorites and I would be lying if I said that I didn't want to be one of them. The truth of the matter is is that many people have suffered more that you (certainly more than me). We just don't see it that way when the most important person in our lives is going through so much. It is hard to see people that, in our opinions, who deserve to suffer, getting a pass on these things. You know that we store up or treasures in Heaven.

Disengage dear friend. If that means from this forum because you feel that you are catching hell then so be it. You need to surround yourself with love, things that help you to relax, things that bring you pleasure. I am praying for your dear son, you and your DH. I will pray for you SS also. God loves him too.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

lamom,

Rest assured, that even though the parents you are meeting aren't angry now, 100% of them have been. Sure, they go on with life, work when they can, and somehow put a smile on their face that belies their enormous fear. And they do get past the anger...on many levels. However, if you ask them, they all have a story of someone that has let them down since diagnosis. And they've had the feelings you have. Luckily, the good outweighs the bad, and even when family may let you down, a perfect stranger will restore your faith in humanity. It will happen...if it hasn't already.

And you are right. It is hard when family, who are supposed to "be there", cannot or will not, for their own selfish reasons. I'm sorry that your DH's son cannot be what you need him to be. I think you would feel better if you love the grandkids as much as you can, disengage/ignore their father as much as you can, and encourage your DH to do the same. At the end of the day, you will feel good to know that your grandkids know you adore them, even if you can't stand their dad. And you will sleep better.

Have you joined the ACOR online group for rhabdo? If not, you may want to check it out. There are LOTS of parents who are traveling the same road as you are now. You will find immense support and information there. It's ACOR.org and click on mailing lists.

Your little guy will be in my thoughts and prayers, along with the rest of my "youngest warriors" that I care for every day. They are a tough bunch of kiddos, who amaze me with their strength and determination daily.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

lamom, i wouldn't expect you to buy gifts to them, you have to be focused on your son. he should be your priority.

I wouldn't expect you to call SS or his kids. But I would expect your DH to give his grandchildren a phone call on their birthday, but he does not seem to be a very involved garndfather.

I don't think you should worry about SS or his kids at all. I just do not see any point in keep buying gifts to these children and then returning them whenever SS acts stupid. It just does not sound right. It is an angry action and it doesn't help anyone.

If SS is selfish and immature and your DH is not involved grandfather, it is sad, but it is nothing you can do. Your son is your priority. let DH and SS deal with each other and their problems.
Hope you son feels well very soon!


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I,too, agree that it's perfectly fine for you to not get them gifts. Gifts aren't necessary, but I agree some form of acknowledgement of the birthdays IS. A phone call, or maybe they come over for cake. But this doesn't even have to be from you if you can't muster it. As long as it's from at least one of you & DH as the grand-parents. Given the circumstances, disengaging may be a reasonable and viable option for you.

As to the empathy thing, I don't really mean kiss SS's butt or anything... and perhaps given everything 'empathy' isn't even the right word... maybe just more trying to see the situation more from his side, with less assumption/implication that his only concerns are purely selfish and with more insight into the fact that no matter how much of a callous a** someone can act like, a lot of times it covers a very real sense of perceived loss of a connection to someone. It's less a matter of "feeling bad" for SS than it is seeing more clearly into what his core issues are, the hurts and fears that are driving his outwardly gruff behavior. Primarily so that you don't have to let yourself get so personally hurt by it, and so that there is at least *some* hope of one day being able to discuss it and reach some kind of understanding.

I guess I just see the situation between you and SS and your son and his kids as a chicken-egg argument, or a Catch-22, or a vicious cycle. You and SS are both reluctant to be very caring towards each other's kids... for somewhat different reasons but with the common denominator that ---at root--- you each feel like your own kids are the most important and you both insist they be treated as such by everyone else. And yet, paradoxically, neither side is willing to understand that sentiment in the other. The pattern will continue until one of you alters it somehow, and it's a mindset that ultimately has to change, more so than nice gestures, but nice gestures don't hurt anything either. But perhaps now is not the right time for you to be the one to do the heavy lifting. And since what SS will (or won't) do remains uncertain, perhaps disengaging is the best plan, at least for a while.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

SErenity, "You and SS are both reluctant to be very caring towards each other's kids... for somewhat different reasons but with the common denominator that ---at root--- you each feel like your own kids are the most important and you both insist they be treated as such by everyone else."

I don't know how to make anyone understand, my kid has a real life threatening illness. He is going through intense treatment and a profound experience. SSs kids do not. DS's situation is not normal. The more people try to equate his with other kids needs the more I see that they are not even trying to understand.

For many years as I said above, I did a lot for and with SSs first child mainly because he's 8 and has been around longer. I cared a lot! Took him around, changed diapers, threw parties, bought clothes, taught piano and so on. Sigh.


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Thanks for the insight

Thanks for the insights all.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

lamom,

You are so right! People DO NOT understand the seriousness of your little guy's situation. Unless they have had a kid with cancer, they cannot. Even if they have had a kid with another life-threatening situation...say being hit by a car, or a near-drowning, or other trauma...it's still totally different. Even though they could all have terrible, unimaginable outcomes, the process is different. And until a parent goes through the process of diagnosis, treatment options, hearing statistics, decisions on if/when/where to treat, etc...they CANNOT understand. Even if they want to and try to, they cannot. Although it sure is nice when they try to, huh?


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Nicksmom-- I just watched my Dad die of cancer right before my eyes two months ago. Not a child I gave birth to, so I can't relate totally to lamom, but I certainly know how horrible cancer is. And I can relate to the feeling that other people's problems pale in comparison.

Still, it doesn't make other people's problems go away or be irrelevant or any less important. What it does is throw something into the mix that becomes an additional issue of such intensity that it requires adjusting priorities and refocusing a lot of energy. It doesn't just erase other people's lives. People are much more inclined to be helpful and loving and caring about someone else's problems when it's not being implied that their own problems/lives/loved ones are irrelevant. That's what both lamom and SS are doing to each other, and it's not right. It's certainly not helping their situation. Even if they may feel that way inside (which is their right), it just isn't going to make for any improvements in the family situation if they both insist on expressing that outwardly by making sure the other feels dissed.

It may not be possible for lamom to have anything left to give SS right now, and that is okay and that is why it is probably best that she at least temporarily disengage. I do think she has made much more effort than SS already, at least on the level of gracious gestures. I can understand why she feels she doesn't want to do gracious gestures anymore if they're going to get spat on. She is better off channeling her energy into her son right now. That is her choice, and it has a certain logic to it. It may be that the situation never improves between she and SS, and that may be a risk lamom has to take for her own sanity. However, it is NOT a requirement that DH has to rechannel 100% of his time and energy toward just the one kid. And a birthday phone call would have taken him 10 minutes. He should have made the call, even if lamom was otherwise indisposed.

My point is that the only way the situation is ever going to be REALLY resolved is if either (preferably both) lamom and SS give up the implicit demand for exclusive attention and consideration. And if one or both of them quits invalidating the other's right to their own feelings and concerns. Everybody deserves fair consideration, that's the point that must be realized if either of them are going to be induced to REALLY CARE.

It isn't a competition. There is no jury who's going to return any verdict as to who has more of a right to have things be "all about" them. And even if there was, then what? The other person is supposed to feel suddenly, genuinely loving and caring because it's just been made "official" that they have to? Again, you can't force someone to care, and even if you could, it wouldn't be by trying to convince them that they don't matter. Even an otherwise decent and caring individual could be insulted by that imperative to the point where they rebel against it. And that is what is being done by/to both lamom and her SS, to each other.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

"I don't know how to make anyone understand, my kid has a real life threatening illness. He is going through intense treatment and a profound experience. SSs kids do not. DS's situation is not normal. The more people try to equate his with other kids needs the more I see that they are not even trying to understand."

I am so sorry for all you guys are going through. I just wanted to offer some (((HUGS))) to you and your son.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Serenity, thanks for trying to make me see the other side. NicksMom understands because she knows a lot of people like me and the kids they care for as a pediatric oncology nurse.

I have never stopped DH from doing things for his grandkids. His lack of involvement is not only because of DS. The very existence of these kids bothers him since SS29 doesn't work, hasn't worked, hasn't completed his education and so on. Not the kids fault but there it is. The first kids was an accident, ok. He has lots of problems. Then they have a second while they are barely taking care of the first. DH detached. I hung in until DS got sick. They show no interest, I am PO'd. Lots of excuses made for them here, so I get it. Don't like it but I get it.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

lamom,

I hope I didn't come across as making excuses for them, because I certainly am not. They are who they are. But you are who you are, too. And if you've been the one to "hang in there", even when your DH detached. I just think that, at the end of the day, you will feel better knowing that you did the right thing, as a gramma, for the kids....regardless of the fact that their dad is a shmuck.

How's your kiddo today?


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Nicksmom, with the excuses for skids I didn't mean you, but a lot of others on this forum. I did check out the ACOR.org site last night, thanks so much. My little guy has a lot of energy today. A group of anethesia(sp) residents and the chief of anethesia came to see him today and he loved the attention. They gave him a video game as a gift. He saw his homeschooling tutor and is with the piano teacher now so I can post this. His rhabdo tumor is in his left facial cheek so the radiation is directed to his face. His tongue, inner cheek lining and face hurt so I'm giving him medications. His eating is way off due to the sores in his mouth and chemo side effects.

I have to chuckle about something. DS6 takes piano lessons now because he is too sick for outdoor stuff like soccer or tennis. Silly SS29 commented that HE wishes that HE could have taken lessons. Totally doesn't get it. Pushing 30 and jealous of a sick 6 year old with nothing else to do.

Everyone else, I did send the stepgrandkids some bday gifts today.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

lamom,

I'm glad your little warrior is feeling good today. I know you are making use of every minute that he feels good and has energy. Have fun today.

Face/neck radiation is probably the most difficult to deal with, because not eating/drinking well affects EVERY other aspect of life. All I can say is hang in there. The radiation effect will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.

One of my current patients (almost 6) also struggled alot during his neck/face XRT, and lost lots of weight. He did much better with a G-tube for feedings, and felt so much better. If you haven't already considered that, I'd ask your PedOnc about it. Where is he being treated?

I'm sorry your SS is such a pud. Some people never really learn...or are never taught. But I'm really glad that you were able to put your feelings about him aside long enough to acknowlege your grandkids birthdays. Grammas and grampas are so, so important for kids.

This year, my FIL and his not-so-charming 4th wife, ignored my oldest (not their's, biologically) and our youngest (yes, she's theirs!) for Christmas. For whatever reason, they are snuggled up tight with DH's exwife and her husband. They didn't like the fact that SD wanted to come live here, and that DH helped her make it happen. They assumed we were pushing her or forcing her, or whatever. So they "punished" DH by not sending Christmas gifts to 2 of our kids---sent them for both of DH's kids w/EW....at EW's home. Both kids live here. And get this, the wife was never even MIL to exwife...go figure.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that the kids don't understand why you wouldn't celebrate/acknowlege their special day. Our little one certainly didn't understand why Gramma & Grampa didn't send her anything for Christmas. I felt sad for her. I just cannot understand why they would do such a thing, even if they don't agree with the custody change.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

nicksmom, Kaiser Permanente and UCLA are DS6's teams. UCLA for surgeries and Ped OMF and Kaiser for ped oncology, radiation and testing. His appetite is way off from both the sore mouth lining and nausea from chemo. I'm giving him Pediasure too. His hair hasn't completely fallen out but what's left stands straight up like a buzz cut. He has a cute collection of hats now.

Yes, you are all right that these young kids, really SGS8 since SGS2 doesn't know the difference, won't understand no birthday presents. SD35 also missed their birthdays because she just bought a house, getting divorced and working. SS29 was supposed to help her paint to save money and pick up the bday gifts from us and her. He no showed to go to the casino!

Her attitude about the missed bdays is summed up in a shrug since SS couldn't bother to show up to help her after she has done SO MUCH for him.


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follow up on the grandkids gifts

So, I took all of the advice and sent the belated birthday gifts to the SGrandkids via Amazon. They should have arrived on Saturday.

I haven't gotten a call to let me know they have arrived much less a thank you. That doesn't help me to feel closer or more generous with any of that crew.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

Well, it would be nice if their parents had them at least call to say thank you. But judging by your posts about the parents, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Still, you did the right gramma thing. And if the kids aren't taught proper manners by their parents, they won't know to call you.

How's your little warrior doing?


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

I am so glad that you decided to send gifts to the step grand kids... even if the parents dont think about it appreciate it or even remember the kids will. I remember every time that my grand parents sent me something. I was so afraid they would forget about my birthday when they moved out of town it almost made it more special. Your relationship with your grandkids can be so much different than that of your ss' and your relationship. It is a grandma grandkid relationship..totally different.

And truly I dont try to understand or even comprehend what you are going through with your son. Because without having actually lived it there is just no way possible... but in the end what is right is right. And I am glad you were able to find the difference between your ss and your grandkids. And please dont think that we cant see the heartlessness your ss has... or the trails and tribulations you your son and your dh are going through...there is just no comparison.


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nicksmom how my warrior is doing?

DS6 has completed week four of 6 weeks of radiation. However, on Thursday the mask stopped fitting because his cheek is swelling. Therefore, instead of re-planing the whole thing and possibly starting all over again, the doctor started him on steroids. DH and I really don't want our boy on steroids but the alternative is losing more time while they "re-plan_\" It's only for five days, and at a low dose so we agreed to it.

Hopefully, we can finish this radiation piece and put it behind us.


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RE: Missed sgrandkids bdays, DS6 sick_what now?

The next two weeks will be long, but you're over the hump for his radiation. It'll start getting better a couple weeks after radiation is finished. I know it's hard to believe, but really it will.

I hope you've been able to find some helpful information on ACOR, or just some comfort from others who are walking a similar journey as yours.

Hope your little warrior is hangin' in there through this tough stuff!


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