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"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Messages - Sheen

Grab Bag / Re: I'm 88 Years Old Today
May 06, 2015, 01:11:28 am
Sorry I mised it Luise. Bet you had a hum- dinger of a celebration.  Even though it is late,  I wish you a very Happy Birthday and many more to come.  :)
Hi Nina
Waves to everyone *
Perhaps a different insight to this. I live in a foreign country and when I first moved, I thought my husband's family was less than friendly and judging whatever I did. After living here for over 14 years, what I have learned is, that different countries, Cultures are so totally different than what we are familiar with in the states.  Things that we consider rude or obnoxious are just the norm in some places.  It is not that they mean to insult, it is just the way that the country operates.

You never said what country she was from, but perhaps what you are taking as rude and uncaring is just she is speaking  from the Culture that she is from. It is extremely hard to get use to the ways and customs of a foreign country  and missing family and your home is one of those things that comes and goes, like Waves.  Meaning you are worried about losing touch with your son and his Children, perhaps you give her a bit more leeway than you normally would.  Best of luck
I am so sorry for your loss of your Mom. I lost my mom 17 years ago and I still feel like it could of been yesterday. I don't think these losses get any easier with time, it just that we get use to dealing with the absent person. When my mom passed, I ended up losing my sister and brothers due to monetary issues and later on my oldest son. It has been over ten years since I have heard from him but in spite of it all, I chose to go on with my life, rather then stay in that type of situation.
Grudges are a funny thing , some people like you and I are willing to put them in the past and move on, others choose to live their lives feeling that they have the right to keep the anger alive indefinately.

Once again, sorry for your loss and try and think of all the good memories when you get down.  Hugs
Hi BlueEyes
Sorry to hear about your daughter's health problems and pray everything turns out for the best . As far as your younger daughter, at first read I tend to agree with everyone's opinion that you should concentrate on your daughter with health issues and leave the one calling foul to ponder her own thoughts.
However there is always the possibility that your youngest is having a hard time dealing with her sister's illness and is afraid that she might at some point go thru the same thing. Fear could possibly make her react irrationally and take out her anger over the situation on both you and your oldest daughter.  Perhaps she just needs someone to blame for a situation that noone has control over and concentrating on anger is alot easier then dealing with the reality.
As far as her birthday, I tend to think that if this is the first one that you are debating stepping away from, then I would send the card and make the call. You don't want to reward her behavior but you also don't want to widen the gap between you especially at this difficult time.
All my best to you
Grab Bag / Re: Terminally Ill Mother
January 25, 2014, 09:04:44 pm
Hi Margo,
Yes it did feel strange with the whole role reversal thing happening, I do remember that. Meaning you love to quilt, one thing you might do is make a quilt with some of her favorite photos on it. I don't sew but I had one made for my mom for her last Mothers day and she did love it. You can buy that fabric that you run thru your printer and then use the squares to quilt around. That way, she has this warm snuggly blanket with her during those times when you are not.
It really isn't about the things you do, but rather the way you spend the time you have with her. Think of it as a gift that you have been given, and treasure the little moments you have.  If she can get her outside and go for a walk once the weather gets nice. Hospice will even furnish a wheel chair if necessary and they will also furnish a hospital bed for later on.  Like I said those people will become a great support for you and they are fantastic listeners. 
Grab Bag / Re: Terminally Ill Mother
January 22, 2014, 10:57:27 pm
Hi Margo

Sounds like you are doing the very best you can . Sometimes as in my mom's case, she had arranged her will and her wishes by having an attorney actually coming to the house.  As far as hospice goes, they were great. They had a nurse come in once or twice a week to stay with Mom while I did grocery shopping etc. They were also good with help trying to make sure I understood the medications . I cared for her up to ten days before she passed. I just was not physically able to lift her and we were fortunate to have a hospice house just a few blocks away. By that time however she was only semi-conscious so I am not sure that she even knew we moved her there.

With my mom, she enjoyed looking at old pictures and going over happier times which we did alot of. She was always an avid cook, so everytime she saw a new cooking show, she would instruct me to make it. I think the biggest part of the whole situation is to make them feel that they are still part of life, and not dwell on the eventual outcome. If you ever shared a craft or something, then maybe try doing something like that next time you visit.

As far as the siblings, that is a situation in itself. We all use to be very close but unfortunately I now realize that my Mom was the glue that held us together. I have not spoken to any of them in over ten years,  (their choice). They were not pleased with the way the estate ended up so that was the end of family.  At any rate, stay strong and take care of yourself. 
Grab Bag / Re: Terminally Ill Mother
January 20, 2014, 08:42:00 pm
Hi Margo

Sorry to hear about your Mom .  My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and like you, our family divided into various camps as well. My sister and brothers were either in a denial or in the I can't handle this camp, so it was basically left to me. She was terrified that they would place her in a nursing home with strangers taking care of her, so I ended up moving in with her and cared for her until she passed.
Having gone thru basically the same thing, I can advise you on some things .

First , contact the hospice near her and find out what they can offer as ways to help. They are very special people and I don't know what I would of done without them. Second, her current husband is probably also in his own phase of grieving and wondering how he will care for her as her time gets closer. Perhaps try and speak to him about the choices open to them as far as help goes, because they will need help and support.

My siblings always made those token calls concerning ^" how is Mom doing " but it was not until she passed that they showed up to claim what they felt was theirs. Even if the conversation is difficult, perhaps you could speak to your mom about what her wishes are . It is not an easy conversation but one that will make things easier in the future. If she has named her current husband as her legal power of attorney , then he will dictate everything concerning her care and the aftermath.

After you have squared away the actual details of what she wants in her care and what she wants as far as her home goes, then just center on spending as much time as you can with her.  Even though you may not be able to visit her often, those phone calls every day can open up a line of communciation that you will cherish in the years to come. Some of my best memories are things we talked about during my Mom's last few months. Try and be upbeat as much as you can , maybe remembering special times that will bring a smile etc.

You are on a sad road for the next few months but unfortunately it is a road that most of us must travel. Enjoy the time you have left and  God Bless both of you.
HI, I know this is after the fact but might work for next year.  We also do the stocking tradition and as the kids got older, we also ran into the do we or don't we. What I have done for the last few years, is to pick up a bunch of little gifts that are wrapped and which I put into a basket. I am usually the first up so just in case someone's stocking doesn't get filled or is a little short, I sneak a few of these generic gifts in there. The kids all think Santa just dropped a few secret  gifts off and it prevents anyone from being short. 
Hi Gm

Although I haven't posted in awhile, I have been reading and keeping up . Most of the time, I just read this side with DIL's to gain some prospective but if I post it usually ends up on the adult Children side.

My situation with my son has not changed and we have not spoken in close to ten years.  (His choice not mine)
I thought perhaps I could offer some support with your post however. I live in Sweden and my inlaws live about five hundred feet from us. They speak a little English and I understand most Swedish but speak very little. Every family get together, each time they visit, it is always a total Swedish conversation. I have learned after ten years that I enter into conversations that I understand and just stay quiet and do my own thing on most others.  It is hard to feel like part of a group when you don't understand what is being said.
One time we took a vacation together to Italy , when they decided to go along, my first thought was oh no a week of being left out of conversations again. The funny part was although that did happen a few times, my husband did his best to include all of us in the conversations. There was times that he ended up so confused on who he was speaking to that he would switch and speak Swedish to me and English to them lol.

I tend to agree that maybe she is just tired of feeling left out of the conversation and as far as the house cleaning, if you feel the urge you are more then welcomed to come here. 

Enjoy the time you have with the gc and don't read too much into the whole thing. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. 
Grab Bag / Re: Struggling with elderly mom
March 29, 2013, 10:39:37 am
Hi Shiny and Welcome

So sorry to hear what you are up against. Other then what these lovely ladies have offered in the way of advice, there is little I can say. I ended up being my mom's sole caregiver during the last year of her life and it is not an easy road to travel.  My mom had this horrible fear of ending up in a nursing home that scared her to death so she made me promise that I would not place her there. I stuck to my word for the most part but by the last ten days  of her life I was running on empty. I ended up having to place her in a hospice house not far from my home and even now sometimes I feel like I did not fulfil what she asked of me.
I will say that it is very important for you to take care of yourself and find some way to get out of the house for even a few hours. It will make things so much easier to cope with and your dealing with Mom's problems will seem a bit easier as well.
As hard as caring for my mom was during her last days, I will say that those days were some of the best memories and if I had to do it all over , even knowing what I do now, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Louise, I was so sorry to hear of Val's passing but it seemed like he went on his journey with your lovely voice carrying him thru and that was a very special gift from you.
Hi Buggalugs
So sorry you must deal with this but isn't it nice to know that you are not the only one. It does give us some clarity in a somewhat insane situation, one that is so foreign to many of us and the way we were brought up.
Like you, it has been also eight years since I last spoke to my AS and he also has two children, one I have never seen. I also live outside the US and have been the route of sending gifts and cards only to have them returned because the address I had is no longer valid.  When asked about my children, I also hesitate to include him in the answer as I have 3 ad that I am very close to and really have no idea how to explain the estrangement with my son. I think it is extremely difficult to explain what you yourself do not understand so sometimes it is just easier to skip the whole thing.
At any rate this forum does allow us to vent to people that definately understand and can relate to what we feel. It is easy to pretend most of the time that everything is fine, but there are still those moments when just a show of support  or   ATTAGIRL as Luise says  just to make us feel human again.   
Hi momnomore
I was sorry to hear that you have been going thru this for such a long time. I thought eight years was long in relationship to so many on this site but you definately passed that. I am always encouraged to read other readers that hear from their sons or daughters even if the responses might not be what they wish for, at least they know they are well and making their own way in this world.  I really have no expectation of ever having a close relationship with my son or his family after all this time, but it would be easier to cope with, if I at least know he was doing ok . His sisters have gotten married, had children, family members have passed and thru all of it, he has never contacted any of us. I guess like you, I will always have that tiny glimmer of hope but also like you I have gotten to the point that I can supress it for the most part and continue with my life and enjoy the relationships I have with my daughters.
I can understand the family's shock over the son's behavior as it threw all of us. I use to blame my dear dil and atributed much of the situation to her but to be honest I have not felt that way in years. He is an adult who was brought up to know right from wrong. He lived with all of us for 25 years until he enlisted so he knows what is true and what is not and there is nowhere to put blame for his behavior other then the guy who looks back at him in the mirror.
One thought has crossed my mind  and not sure if it comes into play with him or not. When my mom got sick, he made himself very absent in her last months. He would not discuss anything that related to her illness or her time on this earth being somewhat limited. He was extremely close to her for many years and it came as quite a shock that he took this approach. Once she was diagnosed he never saw her again and I am wondering if he finds this estrangement easier knowing he will not have to deal with my getting older etc.  It seems when I spend any time thinking about the situation, I just can't get past the how could he live his life like this part.  Oh well as Luise always says, there is no logic  so why spend your time trying to figure out.

Thanks all for the words, 
Thanks for the opinions, I guess give up is the wrong phrase because giving up implies that I would not welcome him back in my life if that is what he wanted. What I mean is since it has been so long since I heard from him, despite my tries at trying to locate him, I have just given up with the search persay.  Neither I or my daughters have moved since all this happened and if he wished to contact any of us, it would not be hard to get our numbers or addresses. 

Luise, I like the way you put it that you stand accused but refuse to accept the guilty verdict. I too know that when it came to him, I always did what I could for him and helped in any way that was possible. I was a good mom to him and no matter how he wishes to rewrite history the facts are facts. I believe he thinks that we are the only ones being punished in this situation but I think to completely alienate his children from their relatives on this side is also punishing them.  They have aunts, uncles and cousins that they have never met and for all general purposes know nothing about and I think this is unfair to them as well.

We all have said that we find it difficult to discuss our situations with people that do not know and I have often wondered how he handles those questions that pertain to his family. I am pretty sure that he has chosen to be the victim in those conversations .
At any rate, thanks for your views,  was just having one of those days . We are planning a trip back to the states in the fall and will have Thanksgiving with our daughters which is great. But every time I do visit I always feel that I should try harder to contact him or something. Temporary lapse I guess.  So glad this site is here for our weak moments .  Hugs

I was just wondering if any of you have reached the point of giving up the notion of ever reconcilling with your estranged children. In my case it has been eight years since I last saw my AS and at this point, I have no idea where he is living, how he is doing etc. I have tried getting in contact with him over the last years and short of hiring a pi , it has not been a successful search.  He has not only cut me out of his life but also his three sisters, aunts, uncles etc.

Our original disagreement concerned money but that was fourteen years ago and it ended up I wiped the slate clean of over 85,000 dollars in hopes it wold mend the relationship. He has never actually said what his problem was although I gather it was because I made the incorrect assumption that he would actually pay back the loan as agreed. In his eyes, it was totally wrong for a parent to expect that and it should just be taken as a responsibility of the parent.

As far as my dil , I really have never had any type of relationship with her as we have never lived close enough for that to happen. For the last fourteen years I have lived outside the US and when I did live there, we were on different coasts. They are both in their early forties so I don't hold much hope that they might reconsider their relationships with our family for whatever reason. They have two children which I have seen once, eight years ago. For the first few years I sent birthday, Christmas gifts but never heard anything and the last year I sent them they were returned because they no longer lived at the address I had. 

Like many of you, I do not understand how a son who I had always maintained a close relationship with, suddenly turned into this person I no longer know and although I have gotten to the point that I accept this is the way they want it, there are still those days when I can't help but feel so confused by the whole thing. My relationships with my three daughters has remained strong and constant and I feel badly that he has chosen to just eradicate them as well as me from his life.

In cases like this, we all do go on with our lives but no matter how much we try to bury the pain , it still does surface from time to time. 
Definately a subject that stirs emotion in many.

To be honest I am not sure what my opinion is on this. When my mom got ill, it ended with my siblings basically dumping all responsibility on me because they could not alter their busy lives. We ended up purchasing a home so that we had the room to have Mom live with us. During the last year, I quit my job to stay home with her, and my marriage of over 25 years ended because he could not handle not being my priority.  My siblings offered no help what so ever and every time I asked for their help, it was always met with do what you think best.
When Mom passed, she left everything to me. My original intention was to divide part of the estate with them, barring my home. A few days after her passing however, I started receiving emails, calls, etc asking when the will was to be read, and what they would receive and it reminded me of vultures circling. After paying her debts and medical bills, there was really not much left and by then I was so angry , we were not speaking at all.
It has been over 15 years and I have not spoken to any of my siblings since then. 

So yes, the way the estate went  it did disolve my relationship with my siblings, however had it been an even split, they would of had no problem selling my home out from under me, regardless of the situation.  I think it is an individual case subject  and although first instinct is to say evenly split, the situations must be considered.  In my personal case, I think one daughter could use the home, one would prefer actual sentimental items and one the money.  As far as the one that brought me to this site, I feel no need or desire to leave him anything.  He has chosen not to have a relationship with me or his sisters  in life, so my leaving this earth should not alter that.

Reading that  makes me realize just how bitter and angry I am over this situation. Everyone says that in these estrangement issues, one needs to redirect their energy into making their lives happy etc, but I think no matter how much time passes and how much we fill our lives, there will always be the anger and disapointment that our children for whatever reason have chosen to remove us from their lives.