The Easter weekend was all about bonding time with T.’s parents. Two and a half days of quality time. As I mentioned last week, T.’s relationship with his mom has not been the greatest for the last 3 decades. When I came into the picture I couldn’t quite understand the reasons (I still can’t to be honest) but I have been very encouraging for T. to fix whatever needs to be fixed. Each (rare) visit is full of hopes for moving forward from whatever may have happened in the past that caused the relationship drift apart.
But what does one do when ‘putting the best foot forward’ just is not enough? I think this visit finally made me realize that I would not have that perfect relationship with my mother in law, she will never be the ‘second’ mom I always imagined I would have once marrying someone. T. is used to not having that closeness with his mom that I have been craving for so much. He does not think it is a big deal, but it is to me. He would say he could try to fix things if he knew where they are broken. He stopped trying years ago 🙁
I’ve felt all along that T.’s mom is wanting my friendship but it is hard for me to give myself away to fully embrace it when all she has to say about T. is demeaning. T. was not provoking negative comments, tried to be helpful and pleasing. Things that would trigger confrontations were trivial, things I would never imagine could blow into a full steam one sided screaming episodes. T. is one of the kindest people I know. I just don’t understand. Just because I feel put right in the middle, in a very uncomfortable situation, I don’t think there is much for me to do.
On the last day of our stay I got really upset, just because, again, I had really high hopes. I hoped for a fun trip full of laughter, love, trip that would make us all connected more, because we are family. Instead, I was upset and disappointed. When we left Naples and were on our way to Miami I was cranky in a car, snappy and basically looking for someone to blame. And who was the closest one to blame? T. And so I went on and on about what I thought may have gone wrong in the last several years that caused his relationship with his mom suffer. I was getting more and more ‘wired up’. Now I was getting upset with him. And T. did not even do anything. He was just peaceful and quiet, patient, just driving. And then it hit me, I created ‘a story’ in my mind and when it did not go my way, I was looking to blame someone for it. Now it was up to me, to have a nice and enjoyable drive and a great evening in Miami or to stay upset, complain and spoil the rest of the day for us.
So I took a few minutes to refocus, just some quiet time for attitude adjustment. Sometime one can only do that much. Sometimes things are not perfect, even though we wish they were. At the end of the day all one can do is make sure that she is kind and thoughtful and considerate.
It really takes conscious effort. “It’s easy to be heavy, hard to be light”.
I will continue to make the phone calls, to write cards, to be the best daughter in law that I can. I will continue to be a good daughter, sister and a friend. That’s what I CAN do. That’s what I can control.