Bethany was great - they were both troopers, and Monday night she got to have a suite at the hotel all to herself! She LOVED it... It was an overwhelming experience in general, but we got there and back safely, and I was grateful that I was there for Hans at the prayer gathering (at the wake), since he broke down during that (a little).
Overall, for me, this was an awful experience, one I will not ever repeat. Cody was kind enough to let me buy last minute plane tickets for 3, hotel for the weekend, and a rental car, just so Bethany and Hans could be with their grandmother, dad, and family - to give and receive support during this time. I wasn't told until AFTER we arrived, that - on his death bed - their grandpa still harbored such hate, venom, and a lack of forgiveness for me, that I wasn't even allowed to take the kids up to the door. Tante Bridgette and Debbie were the only 2 people to acknowledge me on their own, and after the prayers at the wake I was told to leave. (I made sure Hans and Bethany were okay, but since they were, I left quietly). The kids' family - NO ONE - even looked at me at the funeral, and their grandmother didn't even acknowledge my presence. NOT ONCE. Not even to thank me for bringing her grandchildren to see her.
So, I've heard a few worse stories about families since then (and so I have other people to pray for who have it worse than me), but I am D O N E. Cody and I have paid for tickets for the kids in the past (because it was important that they see their other family), we've give the Schumachers financial support - LOTS - in the past (even when their own children wouldn't give them money), a fact they hid from 'grandpa' because he would be SO angry to know we gave them money... And I'm just finished. Having to listen to them talk about this kind, loving, forgiving man at the funeral: who were they talking about? Because the deceased man that had all these people coming to say goodbye had such a deep, poisonous hatred, that over TEN YEARS LATER people who had no business judging me were gossiping and hating me at a funeral! Instead of supporting each other, the hate he left behind filled the rooms. Ugh. What sad hearts they must have; filling them with hatred for someone (me) they hardly know, who did nothing to them. Seriously - John and I were married; no one else. And Cody is perhaps the only person who really knows how bad that marriage was. My marriage to John ended the day I brought Bethany home from the hospital, and a grown man - now a father - had left our home in such horrid disarray, I thought we'd been burglarized. After months in a hospital, an emergency C-section, Bethany in NICU for a week, to come home to a house like that... Anything left in me had broken then. And 6 months of severe Post-partem depression after and one suicide attempt, and NO help from him? He nailed the casket shut on our marriage. So there's some insight into that. I should have ended us some other way, but at that point I was struggling to hang on to my sanity, and care for everyone by myself. Including John, who - if you remember - had broken his leg on a jump. So I was caring for EVERYONE, and working 13 hours, plus weekends, and our asshole commander and first sgt. were NOT helping like they promised, they were making my life harder. And no one helped me get through that.
Folks, I'm a sinner. Have done some awful things in my life, and to others lives. I have never said otherwise. And I know my ex-father-in-law hated me, and that was fine. It was a narrow-minded approach to things he didn't understand, but I didn't care. But to see that infect others? <shaking head> That is so sad. All the horrible things I've done in my life, all the horrible things done to me, all those experiences... they have made me who I am today. And I try - everyday - to be a better person. To try my best not to judge. To struggle to be understanding and caring of others needs. To teach my children to WAIT, WAIT, WAIT for the right person. I am a poster child for "don't get married too soon", and if that means that my experiences will keep my children from making some of my crappy mistakes, then it was worth it. And if they make some of the same mistakes? I'll be here to help pick them up. Because that's how I choose to be - the one who learns from her mistakes, tries her damnedest not to repeat them, and to make life a little better for the next person.
So the good news? I'm working on forgiving them (my anger is tripping me up a little, but just a little - I'm almost over it), and getting my loving family back on track to improve the rest of the year. It's been a rough year thus far, but we'll get better! And just in time for the snow storm!
Love to all... Seriously. I'm sending lots of love out to everyone.
(how about some cute pics of the kids?)
|The cute kangaroo outside of the Outback|
at the Cincinnati airport. She's sharing her
|On the monorail after our cancelled flight. Hans was being|
a Pokemon or something... But always cute!