Yesterday was my mother-in-laws birthday. Today we will be having a birthday lunch for her at our house. This is something that we do regularly for our kids but don't always take time for the adults. 7 and I feel very strongly that it is important to get together and remind each other that we care and that we are all important. There was a time however that I did not feel like that when it came to my mother-in-law. I don't really remember having and opinion either way about her when 7 and I first started dating. After all I wasn't dating her right? It wasn't until we got engaged that the connection started. At first there were subtle comments (I don't think she really thought we would last till we would get married so there was not a big worry). Then as the date got closer the comments were more then subtle and actually rude. I didn't understand what I had done to cause that reaction. Finally the straw that broke the camels back! my dear mother-in-law to be told my husband to be that our marriage would not last 6 months. Now the bible say to leave you father and mother and cleave to you wife and that was 7's intention. He felt that this was set out by God but even so he could not figure out why the attitude from mom. After we were married the story didn't get much better. She called constantly and borrowed money. She felt that he should be able to give her money whenever the need aroused. Finally after lending her the money we had for our baby's new crib we (together) put a stop to it.
Not long after baby was born 7 decided that he did not want to raise his family in Whitecourt. His great idea was to move in with mom and save money to buy a home for ourselves. This did not work well at, all as we spent so much money going out because no one was happy living there.
As soon as the grand babies started to come there was finally a purpose for me in there life but I lived each day with the knowledge that if anything would happen to 7 they would do whatever it would take to get his children. I asked 7 about it once and he felt the same way. Needless to say this made me very leery to allow the babies to visit or stay over at grans house. I would have a fear in my heart and a knot in my stomach the whole time they were there. Out oldest SD has asthma and even though I asked them not to smoke around him they did whatever they pleased. I had no ash trays in my home so they would take a saucer out of the cupboard to flick the ashes on. It wasn't until 7 put his foot down that it changed. They still smoked around him when we weren't there, they thought we wouldn't know. The thing is that he would come home so sick from the smoke and it would take days even weeks sometimes to get him back on track.
There were accusations that my daughter who was shy and moody was being molested by my brother (not true). But there was no hesitation to allow a known child molester on the property while my babies were there. I feared that my babies were not safe with their gran. As much as I wanted to say NEVER AGAIN! I listened to 7 and always with great hesitation and great prayer I would let them go.
Eventually she left her abusive husband, Found a wonderful man, and got her life straight. It took a little while and allot of trust but we started to slowly build an understanding, a relationship even.
You see through this whole time my mom was not around. Not even in the picture. This was my second chance to have a mom in my life and it wasn't going so well. My heart ached for my babies to have a grandma that I never had. One that could make all the sadness go away with one kiss. One the was believed to have hung the moon. What was this lady doing? She was wasting the gifts she was given.
7 and I have been married for almost 17 years now. In that time allot has changed. I no longer worry about my babies going to visit or stay with gran. She loves them she loves me and we sure love her. There have been allot of "I'm sorry, please forgive me, and oh my, did I say that? how awful!" I do not ever wish to loose my husband but I now live with the knowledge that there is no fear of loosing my babies at the same time. I did not start my life in Alberta and have never felt the ties from home severed. This has, in the past been a worry for 7's family. That I would pack up and head home as fast as I could if 7 was gone. As much as I love my home town, I love my home more. This is where my kids beginning and middles are. It may even be their ends but that will be their choice not mine. I could and would not ever tear apart the relationship we all have with our Alberta family. God has been so good to us. We may not be rich with money but we are rich with love.
One thing that has bothered me is that I call my mother-in-law by her first name except when the kids are around (then it is grandma). At first it was because there was no respect for her, but now it is out of habit. I am not OK with this. In my heart I feel that I am her daughter and yet the words won't come. I think that this would be a great gift for not only her but to me as well. I feel that I have forgiven her so what is holding me back? Is the want not great enough? I don't know but I will work on it. Maybe by saying it at home first when talking to 7 about her. Then it may feel natural after that. I don't want a fake relationship I want the real deal. I want her to know how much I love her. Happy Birthday Mom!