As far as family gatherings go, it wasn’t bad. Certainly not the disaster that i hosted last year.
My sister-in-law, K, invited us for the Trailer Park Thanksgiving yesterday, and as always, she was a gracious and tolerant hostess. My niece, DQ, brought Mom, along with her two daughters (DQ Junior, 14 and DQ III, 2). My ridiculously self-absorbed oldest sister, S, was fairly quiet. A small and laid back gathering. Promise of a pleasant meal…
Invariably, we listened to DQ’s shopping adventures from Black Friday. Blowing cash she doesn’t have on things she doesn’t need. My brother shared tales of his three elder-boys (20, 16, 14) and the latest travails with his ex-wife*. Mom didn’t have much to say, as she was concentrating on shoveling a couple plates of food down her gullet.
And it was a fine meal…
Afterwards, DQ III started to squawk, having missed her afternoon nap. DQ took her and DQ Junior home to spare us all the racket, and let the kid get some rest. This left Mom, three of her children, and my brother’s wife for after dinner conversation.
The subject of Mom’s living arrangements came up. She has been living on a bed in DQ’s living room since July, a waiting the renovation of her house, which is now planned for Spring. Given the option of staying in the house alone, moving to an assisted living apartment, or living with DQ and her clan? This was Mom’s choice.
We are all quite thankful that my niece is willing and able to care for Mom. Granted, she’s cleaning out the bank accounts along the way, but she’s earning it, at least to some degree. Mom shared her concerns that after she’s gone, she doesn’t want to see DQ and her family “thrown out on the streets” if we all contest the will… DQ is apparently worried that we’re all going to “cause trouble” after Mom dies.
My brother laughed and said “We don’t want it, Mom. Stop underestimating your children.”, followed by my “Seriously, we don’t give a shit…”. But the best line of the day goes to my sister-in-law, K, for her innocent question “What has DQ done to make her feel so guilty?”
So we just sort of left it there…. me grinning madly at K, Mom scratching her head trying to figure out how to answer it, and my sister, S (DQ’s mother) deciding that it was time to go…
i headed out shortly after. Got in some ridiculous dance/drum therapy at a post-Thanksgiving houseparty. This year? Three hours of dancing, but it was the drumming that provided therapy… Primal, and absolutely good for the soul.
From the fine folks at Awkward Family Photos
* His second wife, mother of the three boys, became an evangelical Christian when she re-married. Shelling out two additional kids with her new husband, she decided that home-schooling would be good to raise the children properly. Turns out? Last month she was busted by her husband for having an extramarital affair. And before he took her back? Sent her to rehab for her alcohol problem… Makes for nice “Springer-esque” dinner talk!