Sunday morning coming down

I made a huge vat pot of chili yesterday. Our son Jaye and his family came for a visit. They haven’t been here since Christmas Eve, due to one kid or the other being sick, or the weather causing dangerous traveling conditions, so it was good to be able to cook for them. I also made guacamole again, because it just goes with chili. So, I bought extra limes, because I thought a nice pitcher of frozen margaritas would be just the thing to get me through all the noise and chaos of six kids and five adults in my house, and I could share them with Kelly, our ex-daughter-in-law. Now, I’m a one-margarita kind of drinker, but I had two, maybe three, so that’s where the title of this post comes from. I have margarita-morning-after head. Ugh.

Jaye’s family situation is a little, shall we say, tenuous? Or maybe a better description would be, I don’t know what the hell is going on with him and his ex-wife. They seem to be back together. He’s been dwelling/living/residing at her house for the last few months, but he’s also keeping his apartment. Probably in case she goes bat-shit crazy again, and decides she hates him again, and throws him out on a moment’s notice again. Okay, this did not go where I thought it was going, but since it did, let’s explore it a little further.

When their sweet little Lauren died, it tore apart their marriage, which had been on shaky ground anyway. The statistics are not good for marriages surviving the death of a child, so they became a statistic. But, the hard part is they still love each other, and they love their boys, Matthew and Nicholas (the one with Down syndrome). Shared parenting is difficult, especially if the parents’ relationship in contentious, and parenting a special needs child makes it even harder.

To be fair to Kelly, Jaye did his own share of going crazy in the months and even years after Lauren died, so I can’t say that it was all her fault, although, being Jaye’s parents, we probably cut him a little more slack that we did her. And, we mostly only heard his part of the story, even though there were plenty of times when she tried to drag us into it. It hasn’t been a fun three years. For either of them, or for the boys, or for us.

So, Jaye is going to finish his Master’s degree in history in May. He has applied to PhD programs at five or six universities. He has had very positive feedback from Cornell, talking for about two hours to someone there who was blown away by his application written work. And he was recruited by someone at Brandeis to apply there. He also applied to Columbia. His hope, though, is to be accepted at University of Chicago, whose program is most suited to his area of study and interest. It also happens to be the only city where Kelly is willing to relocate. Mainly because she already has a job offer there. She works for the Veteran’s Administration as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and her skills are in demand. Ironically, they had planned to move there right before Lauren died. In fact, she had already accepted a post at the VA, and they had found a house they wanted to buy. She had to decline the post, because the thought of moving was too much to deal with, understandably.

If Jaye is accepted at U of Chicago, Kelly is willing to pull up roots and move there with him, and I assume they will remarry, although nothing has been said to that effect. If he decides to go to any of the other schools, she won’t go. If he goes to Cornell, there’s no VA within an hour-and-a-half driving distance of Ithaca, and even if she took the job there, she would have to take a pay cut. New York City and Boston are both too expensive, because she is already at the top of her pay scale. Of course, we’re assuming that at least one of these schools will offer him a position. History is a pretty small area, so it’s tough getting in. If he goes, and she stays, I’m not sure how she will be able to cope with the full-time care of the boys. And I know Jaye will miss them so much, and feel extremely guilty for leaving them. It’s a huge dilemma. Of course, the problem could be solved by his not being accepted by any of the schools. I guess we’ll know the answer to that in a couple of months. Stay tuned.

See you soon,

Susan

14 thoughts on “Sunday morning coming down

  1. Your kids are so lucky that you make such good things for them to eat. Mine are coming this weekend, and I’m thinking about the menu already. I’m flattering H as much as possible about his meatloaf. Do you think I’ll convince him to make it?

    Marriages flail about after the loss of a child. It’s like a bomb exploding; the devastation is horrible. I hope Jaye is accepted at Chicago. What a smart kid you have there. You must be very proud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bella, by the time everyone went through the appetizers and the salad, there wasn’t much interest in the chili, but it turned out pretty good, and I had plenty left over to send two quart jars home with Jaye and Kelly and another half gallon to keep for a second meal here.

      I think H will be delighted to show off his new cooking skills to your family! Won’t they be impressed with the progress he’s made just since Christmas!

      We are extremely proud of Jaye. History is not only his choice of study, but it has been his life since he was a young child. He lives, breathes, and eats it. I hope he gets everything he wants out of life, especially since he has been denied so much.

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  2. Rocks and hard places are no fun. On the other hand, rock and hard place implies a static situation, and there are a lot of moving parts in this one. It’s wonderful that Jaye has those opportunities opening up to him. I hope things work out — for everyone.

    And, yes. Those margaritas surely do taste good at the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, Jaye is kind of a late bloomer. He got his bachelor’s degree right after high school, and then postponed his advanced degrees for one reason or another, mostly called life, so it’s really gratifying to see him pull himself out of his grief and be able to accomplish his goals. He will be 40 in September, and I think he finally realized that he’d better do it now, or it would never happen.

      Yes, you are right about there being a lot of moving parts, and as machines go, they need constant maintenance and attention to run properly, and sometimes just pure luck. I’m afraid to hope too much, but mothers will do that.

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  3. A very complex thing is their relationship, but the pretty wonderful thing is that despite all the water under the bridge, nobody’s burned it. So many people just walk away and aren’t willing to dig deep to make the effort (toooooo many metaphorical things going on here) so the fact that they are together again (even if not permanently) speaks not only to their regard for each other, but their willingness to engage, even when it’s all really hard. I say good for them, and really hope that Chicago comes through for Jaye. Wow, talk about everything hinging on that! It has to happen!

    I hardly drink at all, but discovered Marguerita Mondays at a local restaurant (in Calgary) a few summers back. Oh man. I’m a sucker for lime juice anyway, and they sure do go down smoothly. Sorry for your head probs, but I bet it felt pretty nice to indulge.

    You try to be fair, which is in the top 3 of human qualities I admire the most. Not generally easy, but always essential. A hug for you for that, sistah.

    Thank for my Monday morning treat. I woke up grumpy but the yoga class and your post has eased me out of that.
    xoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb, yes, their relationship has always been complex, but you throw a couple three wrenches into it, and it just makes it even more so. I have a good feeling about it. They both seem more happy and relaxed than I’ve seen them in a long time, and that Kelly is willing to go this extra mile (in the right direction) says a lot about the depth of her love for Jaye and for the family unit.

      I hardly drink at all either, so that was probably a big factor in the morning-after headache, well, all day, really. It finally left me around 4 p.m. But, yeah, any drink with lime juice in it pretty much has my vote. If I stick to one, they really don’t bother me.

      Being fair is really mostly about being honest with yourself and others, isn’t it? I always try to be fair and honest in my dealings with people, even if it’s after the fact, and I come to my senses at some later time. I loved my hug. 🙂

      I’m glad I got your grumpy butt in a better mood, me and yoga, that is. xoxoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Grief does way-weird things to people and many do not survive that period. It’s my hope that perhaps with the time that has passed and the directions their lives have taken that they may be able to come together again. I can understand the apprehension to be sure. But perhaps time has eased that.

    He sounds like a very smart young man with such prospects ahead of them. Perhaps U of Chicago would be a sign, if such things really exist and are real. I would like to think so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeanie, it’s funny that you would say that about Chicago being a sign. That’s exactly what Kelly said. I’m not much of a believer in such things, but she is, all the way. I don’t like basing my life decisions on ephemeral substances, and I’m more of a fatalist, I suppose. You would think that would make me a pessimistic person, but I’m not really. I’m more of a ‘believe it will happen, until I’m forced to believe otherwise’ person.

      I hope you are right, for all their sakes.

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  5. Always so tough when parents are grieving. Difficult to focus on our marriages at the best of times and then when a death of a child happens…OMG I can’t even imagine the strain and stress. I hope they find their way to whatever is best for the family.

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