Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mustn't speak ill...

I went to a funeral today. They're never happy events, but the departed in question was 92, so that's a good long innings, and she died of heart failure as a result of a quick onset of pneumonia. Sudden, and for all that harder for her family as they weren't prepared for her to go so quickly. Mind you if your mum was 92 you'd be on alert anyway I think.
The woman in question was my close friend's mother-in-law Alice, and you know all those mother-in-law jokes? She was the embodiment of many of them. She loathed my friend Valerie, who is one of the nicest, most genuine people I know. Alice said some awful things to Val when she and Chris first married, awful enough that Val hasn't spoken to her for 20 years and Chris for the most part hasn't either. It could and should have been a happy family from the time Val and Chris' first son was born, but by the time my godson came along they weren't on speaking terms with Chris' mother. Thankfully they made peace earlier this year, with Chris driving down the coast to visit his mum several times, and Alice coming to my godson's 21st birthday two months ago. But the peace was a little tenuous; Chris never trusted his mum not to be bitchy about Valerie.
But today I discovered something Val hadn't let on - Alice had trouble with ALL her daughters-in-law, current and ex. All three were there today out of respect to the family, but it seems that Alice was one of those mothers of sons who loathe the women they marry. No woman would be good enough for her son; you see this quite a lot and I wonder why some mothers go to the extent of trying to cause unhappiness for the child they obviously love dearly. These three daughters-in-law are also nice people, and have brought up their children to love their grandmother and value family no matter how they personally feel about a woman who has been spiteful to them to the very edge of slander.
What is it with some mothers and their sons? I know women too who think their son-in-law isn't 'good enough' for their daughter, but they are usually outnumberd by mothers of men who resent their daughter-in-law. Life's too short for not trying to get on with the people your children choose. Even if you live to 92.

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