There was drama this weekend. Some of it started in the middle of my Friday afternoon chocolate dipping. The drama was on my husband's side of the family this time. Things are a mess over at the family homestead and we were called to action. Arnie went first to try to sort things out and make sure that his mother was okay. She's been doing so much better since her hip surgery and this was just a kick in the butt for her. Arnie has a way of keeping his cool and assessing a situation prior to flying off the handle. He's a talker, not a screamer. Because I was in the middle of something I waited until later to take the trip over. This was good as it gave me time to cool down and take a look at the problem at hand.
It appears that one of the kids was dipping into Mom's emergency cash. I feel bad because at first we questioned the amount of money she had. With the surgery and meds she had been on we wanted to make sure she did in fact have the cash. There was enough evidence supporting that she did. The guilty one also fessed up to the crime. My heart went out to my mother-in-law as she's always been there to help the kids. She's borrowed money, charged things and paid for certain things for them , all while being on a limited income herself. This was money she had put away for a trip she wanted to take and just little things for herself. I cannot fathom the hurt she was feeling. The trust that has been lost. This of course affected my sister-in-law also who has just recently had surgery and is in frail health herself. She's right in the middle. Trying to find a reason for this and yet feeling the hurt also.
The story filtered through the family and some first reactions were to pounce on the guilty one. Call the police! I didn't see her the first day but upon my return the second day she was home. We had a talk. I never once raised my voice. I told her that she had to make it right with her grandmother and not just by paying her back. She needed to earn her trust back. She told me she intended to pay her back before she discovered it was gone, but she just got caught up in things. There's no admission of drugs or any addictions. It's just car problems and the fact that she likes to hang out in the bar. She likes to buy drinks for people. This is where Arnie stepped in and talked to her about priorities in life. He had my full attention also. All done without raising his voice. Reminding me so much of when my kids would be in trouble and he'd wait awhile and then talk it out.
On the other hand, we have the brother and sister-in-law that went marching over there the next day and totally screamed their fool heads off at all the kids and the sister-in-law. Threatened to have them evicted and flat out told them they were all losers. We were again called to pick up the pieces. When I talked to the screamer she told me that they needed it. She feels no remorse in freaking out my mother in law, and has now written the family off. Good way to handle life...you don't like it..just write them all off. She was at one time one of my closest friends and I have seen this change in the way she deals with life coming for years now. I will give her the benefit of doubt as her husband has had some medical issues for the past three years. This, I would think, would make her a little sympathetic to the health issues of others. You just don't raise hell in a house with two people who's blood pressure is already being monitored.
I tried to not bawl my eyes out when I got there and found my mother in law in tears huddled up in her bed with no intentions of ever coming out. She had already begun to find a way to begin patching things up with the niece , and although still hurt was defending her. The "take control, and scream at everyone tactics" didn't quite work.
I am guilty of bashing my niece at first. My first reaction. I need to take a good lesson from my husband and take the step back before opening my mouth. You think after 25 years I'd have that downpat.