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My ex-FIL is going to hospice

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #1
Dejibo
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My ex husband is a jerk, plain and simple. He hasnt seen his daddy in 7 years! 7 years ago when momma called to complain that she wasnt feeling well, and wanted her baby boy to visit, he refused her, and she died shortly after. The father has been in the hospital for 2 weeks, and it was determined he has stage 4 cancer and mets to many places. He will be moved to skilled nursing and is feeling upset, and alone, and abandoned by the world. My ex is going to take a flight down on Wednesday to clean out daddy's place, and take his car home with him.

my ex lives in Connecticut and daddy lives in Florida.

I spoke to daddy on the phone, and he is so upset, and tearful that he has given and given and given all of his life, and in the end, he cant even get his only child to come and just visit. It broke my heart. I sent a nice card, and a bouquet of flowers, but its really not my place to step over my ex and his dummy wife to support his dad. I feel cornered, and shackled.

I spoke to his home health care aide, who took the last drop of money from his account to pay for funeral/burial services before sonny boy gets there to take over. (good for her!) and she has been this mans constant and only companion since the wife died 7 years ago.

I need your best advice. Should I just send the card/flowers, and back up? I have spoken to him on the phone. he is very hard of hearing and missed 3/4 of what I said, but I was able to express that I cared, and love him, and am sorry he is not doing well. is that enough? should I avoid the ex drama and simply allow him to do what he needs to do without advice or interference from me? If I call and say "if I can help, let me know." he will ask me for money. If I go down, and sit with this man who once meant so much to me, it will completely exhaust me, and be the same as throwing a wasp nest at the current wife who is unstable in the best of times. DS is going down with his father, and helping him handle the house/car and other stuff, but ex husband has said he must leave by sunday whether the old man is dead or not. he has work, and cant miss it. He has been in the same job for the last 20 plus years and is in NO jeopardy of being fired if he stays with his dad. it will mean no check, but he wont lose his job.

I feel at such a loss. I am danged if I do and danged if I dont. This is one of the sweetest, kindest men I have ever known and he doesnt deserve to be treated this way, but since he is no longer my FIL...get the idea??

What is your advice?
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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Awww, I'm so sorry Dej. He may no longer be your FIL but he's still your Friend. I think any attention you give to him, will be welcome....by him... and the he!! with the rest of 'em.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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So sorry to hear about your problem Dej. But like Sally said he
is your friend.

There is no reason for you not to send him a card and flowers. I am sure
it will make him feel good and it will also help you.


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Old 09-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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I agree with what's been said, Dej. Too bad if the ex and his wife don't like it. FIL is your friend....and the last time I checked you're allowed to be friends with whomever you wish....whether the ex likes it or not.

I understand your desire to keep the drama to a minimum. I'd just do whatever I could to avoid the two people likely to cause the most trouble and let FIL know you're there for him. I'm so sorry he's suffering and I hope your kindness gives him some peace during this time.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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There may be more to the story than you know but regardless you have every right to send well wishes. He was, afterall, you father-in-law at one time and you loved him. Hate to say it but if something ever happens to Jim, my in-laws can kiss my sunny sided....
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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after much prayer and reflection, I have decided that a few simple cards, and a bunch of flowers will have to be as far as I go. To step further over that line risks the wrath of the current wife and her redneck, backwater, under educated, know it all, I am better than you, ways. After my ex remarried I used to tell my mother just how odd this woman is, and my mother would tell me I was making stuff up. After she met her, she told me she saw I was being quite kind. She really is an odd duck.

any money I give my ex to help with expenses or travel, or events will quickly be spent on booze.

any attempts at true or in person contact will only be viewed as intrusive, and start war. lets not even mention that I have MS and limited spoons.

Once upon a time when this man was a part of my life, I expressed to him then how wonderful I thought he was. We have exchanged letters twice a year now for about 12 years. he knows how I feel, and i believe he understands that its impossible due to his son, to show up and be supportive. I have listened to him shed many tears over the loss of his son to alcohol. This is a man who sees the best in every one. He has simply run out of nice things to say about his own son.

Thanks for the support. I have chosen to send a simple arrangement of flowers, and a couple of simple cards to his bedside. His home health aide said she would call me when he passes. That is the best I can do, and it will have to be enough. I must not beat myself up over not being able to do more.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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I think you've made the best decision, Dej. He has heard from you that you care about him; you are reaching out in the healthiest way for you by sending cards/flowers. He will appreciate it.
You need to take care of your health, and the stress of dealing with dysfunction, IMHO, will set your health back.
Send prayers of gratitude for the love this man has shown you, and pray that he will be at peace without feeling more heartbreak at the hands of his offspring.
Just goes to show family isn't always about the blood coursing through our veins...you are his family; bless you for caring
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:52 AM   #8
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The flowers arrived, and they are beautiful. The ex husbands wife called to tell me to BACK UP! To stop showing off that I have more money than everyone else. I said "wth are you talking about?!" and she blasted me for sticking my nose in where it doesnt belong. I was told that he is no longer my family and to send such nice things, only proves that the rest of them cant, and makes them look bad, and feel incompetant. To shower him with letters, and gifts only makes them look like poor rednecks who only want to show up and collect his belongings. Im so bad! I said "if the shoe fits" and she got angry and slammed down the phone. Then it was my ex's turn. he called to ask me to stay away from his dad. I was upsetting his wife. I told him that his dad and I have exhanged letters twice a year for the last 12 years, and I wasnt about to stop. I will send as many flowers as I like, and as many "thinking of you" cards as i like, and if he doenst like it, tough!" He tried to convince me that he is only down there to visit with his father, and I said "then why are you packing HIS car with things from HIS house and leaving on SUnday?! if you were there for him, you would go sit with him, talk to him, be with him, and wait for him to pass, not grab all his stuff and run with it!" I got a lecture on what its like to be so poor you cant miss a paycheck. I sniped that if he gave up beer for the week, its the same as a whole paycheck, and he isnt going to make me feel guilty for his bad behavior.

I picked up the phone and ordered fresh flowers for tomorrow! I am not able to be there in person, or I would. its disgusting that they are simply cleaning out his place, packing it all into his car, and leaving him to die alone. I want to smack them!
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:27 AM   #9
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Dej

As hard as it is to watch......you aren't part of the group that's doing the grabbing. Your FIL knows that. And you know it. And you two are the only two people that matter at this point.

I would block any number that the ex or his wife call from. Give the nurse a cell number where she can reach you when he passes.

Just like you're doing now, I'd send as many cards and flowers and tokens of my affection as I could afford to send. Who cares what anyone else thinks. Really......I wouldn't give those two a second thought. What a sad existence they must have to be so shallow and petty. It just amazes me how miserable grown ups can be to each other.

They will have to answer for their actions one day. We all will......and I would not want to be in their shoes on Judgment Day.

You're a good soul.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:23 PM   #10
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Glad you stood up for yourself, Dej...you have EVERY right to do what you want to in regards to your FIL...no matter who feels guilty. I'm glad you didn't let them talk you out of it...YOU GO, GIRL!
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