I am going to take the kids to see my mother-in-law this weekend.
The last time I visited, she accused me of stealing her boots. She said that someone, possibly my daughters or I, took her boots and left a pair that looked just like hers behind.
I really didn’t know what to say. Why would I steal my dying mother-in-law’s boots?
I admit, my relationship with my mother-in-law Martha has been rocky at times.
I am structured and overly responsible. Martha is spontaneous and irresponsible. She is usually late and she only does what she feels like doing. If she doesn’t feel like doing something, she won’t do it. She might cancel out last minute after she made a commitment. She usually has good intentions.
She once cancelled out of going to her grandchildren’s birthday party because it was going to be too hot outside and we were having the party outdoors. Or it might rain or might snow. Or she spent all her money at the casino and didn’t have enough for gas. Or she had to work. Or she was sick. Or the hot water heater stopped working and she couldn’t shower. Or the car broke down. Or she needed to go shopping instead. All of these excuses have been used.
Some of my biggest pet peeves are when people don’t do what they say they are going to do or when they cancel out last minute without a good reason.
Most of the time, I didn’t argue. The handful of times that I did over the past 20 some years angered Martha enough not to talk to me for years. Martha is always right. It was never her fault. It’s not worth arguing. I just nod my head and smile if I disagree. It is not worth having my children not have their grandma in their lives over.
I am a peaceful person that avoids conflict, but is never at peace. I am the one that is upset. I am the one that is hurt.
I have learned over time to lower my expectations. I am not upset that she accused me of stealing her boots. Martha is a difficult person. Paul and I talk about the things that bother us so it doesn’t fester into something bigger.
Really, what does Martha care if I am upset??
She is the biggest owner of rose colored glasses that I know. She is happy. She talks of all the things she is going to do when she kicks this terminal cancer. She is happy while she is getting chemo. She thinks she is getting better. She has always lived in her dream world of lies. She is happy. She is happy. She is happy..
I am a realist and I am completely miserable.
Some have called me a pessimist and I would argue. But I would admit I am not an optimist. I want to have both feet on the ground. I want to know the facts. I want to know the truth. I see the world as it really is and sometimes that bothers me.
Is such honesty worth it? Try as I might, I can’t seem to change.