Ten years ago, mu husband’s only daughter decided living with us was too much. We did not have a penny to spare, we expected her to do chores, and sitting in her room sulking was only on a limited basis, permissible because she was 15 and it is just part of that age. She decided to move out and permanently live with her mother in California. It was the best thing possible on so many layers. We were finishing our Master’s and working multiple jobs. We did not have the time and patience for her shenanigans. And her mother kept trying to interject and it all added to the mess.
After she moved across the country, we were all on friendly terms and E seemed happy. Less than two years later, her step-father, who was the nicest guy in the world, passed away from a brain tumor. It was the first in a series of things that confirmed that although we may not know it, there is a reason for everything. E’s move was necessary so she could be there to help her mother. The two of them spent the next years traveling and really bonding for the first time in their relationship. Her mother would not have ever won the Mother of the Year award, and when E’s parents divorced, her dad had sole custody. Her visits with her mom were short stints from the age of 7.
We knew that her mother did not take the best care of herself and there were repeated emergency phone calls when her mother was in the hospital. As time passed, E and her dad grew apart. My husband was angry about the whole thing, but would not inquire as to why she did not call or even acknowledge him. We believe that there were some “tales” told to E about her father as a retribution for the past.
Last fall, we got a weepy phone call out of the blue from her that her mother again was in the hospital. She did not come forth with the details until a few more phone calls. Her mother was dying and on a ventilator. She passed on when E ordered the vent turned off. As the next weeks of turmoil ensued, her mother’s family stepped in and all was decided that E would move back to this state but live with them. There was no consultation with her dad, even though we told her she could come back here to our house. I spent a lot of time helping her get organized for her move over the phone and email. Still, there was no desire on her part to come back home, here.
Without going into detail, the journey gets muddy as there was a lot of money involved. She moved back but pays whopping amount of rent to live in a hovel of a house where she has one room. She helps supplement the family’s bills and I think there was hope she would continue indefinitely. At Easter, her dad drove down to get her and had her come up for the weekend. It was dicey at first but then the anger melted. We all enjoyed her time with us. She returned again for another visit and she sat and cried at our kitchen table, letting all the pain and anger at her mother out. She apologized to her dad and we just let the bad stuff all go.
She asked if we could help her move back here and find a place of her own. She could well afford to and we of course thought it would be best at her age to have her own place too. She returned for another weekend two weeks ago and we found a cute little condo and she bought it. As we celebrated her growth, she opened up and told us a lot of what had transpired and how messed up things were from her mother’s situation. The trust left to her was tied up in legalities and her mother had not paid a bill in two years. E thought this was a recent thing, but actually was the way her mother had always been. We took her to our lawyer and now she has a team of people supporting her. We are very proud of her.
The best thing is we are a family again. The anger and pain in my husband seems to have left and he is thrilled to have his “baby” close again. She and I have re-established our “maternal” friendship like nothing happened. We had gotten very close when she lived here before and that was part of the issue with her mother interjecting herself. She was jealous.
It is not all going to be peaches and cream. She has a lot of issues to fix. She has not worked and will need a job. She has the potential to have a healthy income from the trust, but it will be tied up for a while longer. Her mother was afraid to drive and never did and passed that on to E. She will need to learn to drive. She will need to finish her college pursuits, but there are a lot of opportunities locally for what she thinks she wants to do.
The best part is watching her blossom and grow. I am looking forward to seeing her fulfill her destiny. I love it when the three of us are doing things, whether it is all of making dinner or just sitting in the garden chatting. There is a sentiment that says helping others helps yourself, and I truly feel like that is true. Times have been tough in my life with work and I have been doubting I am making any impact in this world. Helping this young lady has been very beneficial for me.