I just talked to my oldest. She lives 200 miles away, is married, and has a son and step-daughter. BUT, her life is in a tempest right now. Sometimes I really hate being so far away when I know she could use a hug, and possibly a babysitter for a few hours of alone time, just her and God.
Her husband is a construction worker, which pays pretty good, but he also has a temper which gets him either fired or worked up enough to walk away from a job. This has caused many stressful, teary phone calls from Heather just to decompress before she went ballistic on her spouse. This past fall, the SIL had been laid off from the job he was at when the weather turned bad. He was (is?) collecting unemployment, which seemed to give him the idea that he didn't need to go and seriously look for another job. While this was saving on daycare costs, he didn't help matters much by constantly imbibing in the recreational use of marijuana. (That is the nice way to say he was smoking more than the occasional joint! *sigh*) They are adults and there isn't much I could do except express my displeasure at his choices.
Fast forward to the middle of January--SIL decides he is going to help a friend cut and sell firewood. He is supposed to get a part of the profits, this is supposed to bring in extra cash for the family, blah, blah, blah... What actually happened is the SIL would be gone 12-16 hours, usually only on the weekends, maybe bring in $100 dollars IF there wasn't trailer trouble, mechanical trouble, or whatever else under the sky that could happen. Since the SIL was helping, the boss figured the SIL should pitch in for the repairs. (The boss, by the way, would clear $2000 a weekend!)
Feb. 14th. Valentines Day. The SIL was supposed to only be gone a few hours... ended up being 15! Daughter was a little pissed, but since the husband was supposedly making money, she dealt with it. He came home with very little pay. Of course, there was a fight that had been in the making for many weeks.
Today, March 2nd. Heather finally hit a wall. SIL wasn't looking for better work, nor was he insisting on more cash for his labor from the firewood job. SIL refused to take the time to sit and discuss the problems that were quickly becoming a huge rift in the relationship. This morning, (as in all at-wits-end marital spats) things were said that really shouldn't have been. SIL packed a bag and went to his dad's house. Heather said she is at a point where she is all used up and just doesn't care. She is just numb, and she is at the point where she doesn't care if he is gone, or where he went. She is tired of being the only "bread-winner" in the home, the (seemingly) only responsible adult, and really tired of being home alone waiting for her husband to come home "whenever".
My Mother's heart is breaking. I was crying silent tears for her when we were on the phone together. She would laugh if she knew just how often I am on my end of the line with tears just streaming down my face. I'm a real softie when it comes to my girls. Heather is a very strong young woman and I have no doubt she will pull through this.
I know from personal experience that however I feel about the SIL, the final decision to separate, divorce, or work things out lies with her. I will stand by her whatever happens.
I don't know who needs the hug more... her or I!! Her because this is a very hard thing to deal with, or me because I have lived through it and know how hard these decisions and the ones yet to come can be and my soul is aching just with the knowledge.