Could have been worse…

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.

The Holidays... They're BAAAAAAACK!

 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!

18 thoughts on “Could have been worse…

  1. I especially like what your brother had to say:

    “Stop underestimating your children”.

    Love it.

    Having said that, I do a good bit of work helping people resolve estates. Have noticed over the years that there is no way to predict the families that will have trouble and those who will not. You just can’t tell ahead of time.


  2. Dying broke is my aim. Spend Kids Inheritance NOW!

    And I need a bit of live heavy drumming for therapy as well. A wild guitar would be nice – AC/DC where are you? Hell, I’d even settle for Metallica at the moment!

  3. TAG – it was beautiful… and as executor, i’m pretty sure there won’t be any trouble… though no one is fond of my niece’s parasitic/manipulative tendencies, she is a good caregiver, and deserves compensation…

    silverstar – exactly. she needs to make sure her last check bounces… but my concern is that it’ll burn out before mom is gone. there’s definite risk, given the ‘burn rate’ at the moment…

    uncle keith – my sister-in-law has become my single point of respite within the family. at 31 years old, she is wise beyond her years… despite her taste in men!

    nursemyra – i try to keep patience, knowing that the size of mine shall shrink a bit over the next few years….

    archie – spend it! hell yeah… just not before she pays for her medical needs! the drumming was cathartic… if i lived out in the wilds of the Australian desert? i’d be out drumming under the stars every night… no neighbors to complain!

    unbearable banishment – i have no doubt that mom will be broke – and that’s the right thing. its just a question of timing it right…

  4. daisyfae, i honestly feel as though i’d be right at home with your family. i think it’s cool that you shine a little light on your family matters. it’s so welcoming….i’ll stay tuned to see how mom’s living arrangements pan out. it’s a long time til spring. 🙂

  5. Oh my! Not only do you have Christmas to deal with, but Thanksgiving too! Having only lived in England and Australia, I don’t really know how Thanksgiving and Black Friday originated. Please excuse my ignorance; I go now to Google.

  6. chris – 60 miles doesn’t get me a ‘pass’… but since they won’t come visit me, it does get me some control over the timing of the visits. and length. why do you miss it? they’re family. literally, it’s in your blood…

    lynn – they have moments. last year? perhaps two… i’m sorting out my personal demons out here. nothing horrific. just a few scruffy lizards under the bed… will continue to tell the stories as they unfold, and try to get more of the history developed…

    syncopated eyeball – thanksgiving is like the pre-game. it’s really just a meal, when you think about it. celebrates the harvest, is all. historically? as Jon Stewart says “Celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving. Invite all of your neighbors over, slaughter them, then steal their land”. That pilgrims/indians thing. Black Friday? The commencement of the retail orgy of christmas. People stay up all night waiting in line to get cheap electronics as the stores start mega-sales. Ugh…

  7. Black Friday is such an awful name. Over here it refers to a huge bushfire that killed 70 some people back in the 1930s.

    For me it feels like a travesty for a sale day to use the same title

  8. We live way to far away from everyone for any type of holiday with hubbys schedule it’s hard to get away over holidays and when he is off we usually spend it together to make up for lost time.
    I wish my parents would spend their money more wisely. The stepsister and I will have a doozy of an estate to try to get rid of when the time comes. Even if they need help in their advanced age, we will have to get rid of stuff to pay for it. All the money is in Nut Crackers and Beanie Babies, Hummels, and so much other junk I have no clue about. and I’m not talking about pennies, dollars or even thousands…I mean way more than that. It’s very annoying to go there and see all the junk that will one day be ours to get rid of. but if it makes them happy now who am I to complain.
    they love us and we love them so to each their own…

  9. The beauty of spending a holiday in someone else’s house is that
    you get to talk about them all the way home.
    Love, dysfunction, blasphemy, erotic absynthe
    I’m thinking you did that in some small way?
    Please say, yes . . . :mrgreen:


  10. nursemyra – it’s a horrible glorification of retail culture. people line up overnight, awaiting “door buster” sales. racing to get the cheap tv, laptop or “hot toy of the year”. makes me sick to think about it… can see why the association for you is even worse…

    gnu – she’s very bright, and knows how to get things done. “manipulative” or “efficient”? depends on what’s going on…

    hisqueen – oh, the collectible crap… Mom spent thousands of dollars on Avon Collectibles, thinking they’d be “worth something” someday. when she finally agreed to get rid of dozens of boxes of the damn stuff a few years back? i couldn’t sell them for a nickle… ended up giving them to charity and writing her a check for $500… no need to apologize for the comment! that’s what the comment forum is for!

    hereinfranklin – my ex-husbands family seemed ‘normal’. but he thought it was just because we didn’t really know them very well… i think you’re right. blood and decades of intense interaction sure brings out the fun stuff, doesn’t it?

    ~m – my children were spending the weekend with their dad, so i was in the car by myself on the drive home. but then again, i sure trashed them in the blogosphere, didn’t i? 🙂

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