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-   -   I need ideas! (http://www.friendsandfamilyforum.com/showthread.php?t=945)

KayKay May 7th, 2008 11:37 PM

I need ideas!
 
Here's the brief scenario:

BF (the one who lets firemen into my house and picks up my DD from volleyball games even though she has to leave her DS's football game to do it...) never complains (that's what *I* bring to the relationship! LOL) - she is one of those stoic souls. Sigh.

Her MIL has been going through chemo in our town for a few months and staying at BF's house during her treatments. BF looks at this as a wonderful opportunity to get to know her MIL (BF and her DH have only been married 20 years...) and "spoil her", and for her kids to understand what it's like to make sacrifices for someone else. Okay, that's good.

Well, the MIL isn't doing so hot. They've stopped the chemo treatments and are going to do surgery on her. However, before they do surgery, they want MIL to stay in the hospital for 10 days to get her strength up. BF won't let MIL sit by herself... she is spending her (last few precious) days (before summer vacation) bedside with MIL.

So here's what I want to do. Obviously, no one is going to be putting a whole lot of thought into M Day for my BF. And IMO, my BF is the consummate everyone-else-comes-first (but no martyr complex) M who *deserves* to be thought of on M Day. I'm close enough to her kids (her ODD12 and I text every so often) that I could arrange something for my friend from her kids (with their assistance).

Should I? Or is that overstepping?

And if so, what? BF doesn't like flowers, she doesn't "need" anything, they don't enjoy eating out the way I do... For her birthday every year I get "practical" gifts... a gift certificate to a car wash one year, a cell phone charger another... She's a very practical, low-maintenance woman. I really think she'd like something like a promise to put the laundry away for a week or such. (Or is that MY ideal gift?)

Any ideas?

Mrs X May 8th, 2008 04:43 AM

Re: I need ideas!
 
Smellies! - Of the scented bath oil variety. They make you feel feminine and beautiful, even if you don't use them, and just like them to look at.

Dried fruit platter - she might appreciate that in her current circumstances.

One of those i-pod type things, but that play the radio instead.

A luxurious bath towel/face towel set.

Puzzle books (???)

1dilwhosreal May 8th, 2008 05:46 AM

Re: I need ideas!
 
My mother is the one to keep vigil at the hospital. So, I'm thinking of what she'd enjoy while doing what has to be done.

She'd enjoy a book or some magazines, flowers for the room if they are permitted. Some hospital cafeterias have "dining clubs," so a card with a few bucks on it would be good.

Definitely help to cook and cleanup at home where she's neglecting things-- and laundry would be wonderful. We have a few places that make "home cooked" meals for a week or even a month, and deliver them. The people who use them say they are delicious. A gift certificate or even ordering a week of dinner might be good. It's not the same as take out or dining out.

You are a good friend for wanting to do this for her, Kaykay.

KayKay May 8th, 2008 10:01 AM

Re: I need ideas!
 
Both good ideas. I wondered if "entertainment" items for the hospital room would be good... and I know her favorite magazines. :D

The only thing is... I want this to be from her kids, kwim? She'd be thrilled with just a card. It's not that she needs "attention", but I want to make sure she gets "acknowledgment". I know her DH won't do it (he has a lot on his mind... I can't fault him) and I know her kids *would* if someone suggested it to them.

I think I may text her ODD today and ask her if she needs me to take her and her siblings to get a card for her M. That kind of puts it out there, and I can do as much or as little as the kids feel comfortable with. Minimum of a card, which would be as much as a palace of diamonds to BF. It'd be fairly easy to get the kids "away"... we take each others' kids places with our own kids all of the time.

nonnymouse May 8th, 2008 11:00 AM

Re: I need ideas!
 
I think it would be overstepping if you pressed to make something you want for her 'from the kids'.

They are having their own experience of their mother and grandmother that may not be exactly what you perceive.

The 12 y old will probably have some good ideas you can help with. But if not helping them do whatever is genuine from them is good. Kids have cheesy ideas sometimes, it might be fun for them to get your help to carry them out. I didn't catch the ages of the other kid(s). If 12 yo feels comfortable talking with you about the grandma and mom situation she might have something very meaningful in mind that you could help with that you couldn't have thought of yourself. Just helping is a gift in itself IMO.

From yourself but maybe with the kids help: Honoring your friends time with mother in law with a memory book or photo album or way to record conversations with mother in law before she is gone would be a great way to show respect for your friends desire to spoil and appreciate mother in law. Your friend sounds like someone who would get a lot out of that. This is probably her MILs last few weeks/months and helping her not have regrets is super supportive IMO.

And she and MIL may not think to go out and get tape recorder or even rent a video camera etc. and put down some of MILs family stories but you could facilitate that for them. Or record grandmas comments about photo albums filled with pictures of the grandkids (or her own kids) even.

There are also fill in the blank style books that ask basic questions about your life story, that might be an idea too.

If you want to help the kids do something that is really from them but is something you chip in on money or time wise that might be great. But let it be a gift from all of you and no denying its from all of you not just the kids. Does that make sense?

I think it is great that you want to do something special for your friend.

KayKay May 8th, 2008 11:53 AM

Re: I need ideas!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nonnymouse (Post 12277)
If you want to help the kids do something that is really from them but is something you chip in on money or time wise that might be great. But let it be a gift from all of you and no denying its from all of you not just the kids. Does that make sense?

Um... no, not yet. :o:confused: Can you explain more?

I don't want to get my friend a M Day gift from me... I just want to facilitate her getting a gift/acknowledgment from her kids.

Her kids are 12, 11, and 9. They're at the age where ideally D takes them to get something, but this year D has other stuff to worry about. That's kind of why I thought maybe I could help. I don't think her kids would really have any ideas about what to give (she's really hard to buy for), so I was going to have suggestions for them.

The more I think about it, the more I think offering to take them to buy a card for her is the way to go. Maybe I ought to offer it to her DH, so he doesn't think that I think he's a jerk (I don't) and "assume" he's not helping his kids with this. For all I know, he might be! :p (He doesn't usually shower BF with gifts... that's why I don't think it's high on the priority scale for him)

KayKay May 9th, 2008 01:14 PM

Re: I need ideas!
 
Just to let everyone know what happened...

DH suggested I call BF and just ask her. :rolleyes: He said that it wasn't right to do an end run around her even if it was with good intentions. I hate when he's right. :p He said that she'd never let me do it, but the fact that I wanted to do it would be meaningful to her.

So I called BF this morning and told her that with everything going on, I was wondering if I could relieve her DH of the worry of taking the kids to get M Day cards.

She said "Oh honey, we don't celebrate M Day at our house." Sigh. Before I could protest she said that the kids were making cards at school and that was all she wanted, and before I could protest she went on to tell me that her MIL's situation had gotten really bad overnight.

M Day flew out the window.

But at least she knows I care. :(

nonnymouse May 9th, 2008 01:51 PM

Re: I need ideas!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 12337)
Just to let everyone know what happened...

DH suggested I call BF and just ask her. :rolleyes: He said that it wasn't right to do an end run around her even if it was with good intentions. I hate when he's right. :p He said that she'd never let me do it, but the fact that I wanted to do it would be meaningful to her.

So I called BF this morning and told her that with everything going on, I was wondering if I could relieve her DH of the worry of taking the kids to get M Day cards.

She said "Oh honey, we don't celebrate M Day at our house." Sigh. Before I could protest she said that the kids were making cards at school and that was all she wanted, and before I could protest she went on to tell me that her MIL's situation had gotten really bad overnight.

M Day flew out the window.

But at least she knows I care. :(

You have a wise husband. He said it much better than I could. :)

Sorry to hear her MIL is worse. Respect and moral support is the best you can do for her especially if she doesn't want more. Just being there for her like you are is great.


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