Can you imagine being on the plane to attend the wedding and thinking "well, at least I can visit my mom's grave while I'm there"? Ever since they announced it I'd be yo-yoing between going and not-going. I missed my sister (for whom it was just an impossible date - yes, we were both frustrated that we got the message that they wanted us to be there, but they didn't consult the date with those who live far away, i.e. us). The ceremony at city hall was very surreal. Luckily I could pretend to make sure my kids weren't tearing down the place so I didn't have to look at the bride and groom. I still cringe when my dad calls her 'honey' (well, he doesn't call her honey because they don't speak English to each other, but you get the idea). The little party at their house afterward was nice though. But I was still too busy with the kids / too tired / not interested to strike up a conversation with her two daughters (who will remain 'her daughters' to me, I will never ever call them my step-sisters, nor will I call her my step-mom. Luckily no-one expects me to either). I do like her. My kids adore her. I'm glad my dad has found happiness again. But this was not easy.
I visited my mom's grave the next day. Mr. Sensible had fallen asleep in the car so hubby stayed with him and I took M. Gourmand with me. He loved the little stones on my mom's grave - and on the grave next to hers, and oh, there was a little jar on that grave where you could put all those stones into - and why am I not allowed to climb on the big family tombstones...?! (We'll see what kind of phase he's in next time I get a chance to visit).
We visited my maternal grandmother two days later. I had asked my dad to call her beforehand, because I didn't want to be the person who had to tell her, not did I want to lie about my reason for being in Holland, nor did I want M. Sensible be the one to tell her (my dad first thought that would actually be very convenient, if the innocent (great)grandchild would give it away, but luckily he came to his senses and realized that it would still have to be him to make the call).
Of course my grandma didn't take it very well. My dad used to be her favorite son-in-law. Ever since he has a new relationship he has become an outcast. They both don't do well in trying to improve that situation. But for the first time since my mom died hubby and I had an honest conversation with her. She is suddenly bringing the stillborn child into the story (whom she never ever mentioned when my mom was still alive!), blaming my dad for not taking my mom to the grave, apparently looking for past flaws in my dad's behavior... I don't expect her to change, she is 95 and grieving her daughter, but it is such a shame. She has seen so much in her lifetime, but her judgments can be brutal.
This week I've been home with the kids (school holidays and the sitter is on vacation too). Emotions and missed naps during our stay in Holland have resulted in the theme of this staycation being sleep. So I have a lot of catching up to do in the blogging world. I'll get back into gear soon.