Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The (not at all) Wicked Stepmother

It's been one year and 4 months since our wedding, the same day my Mother-in-Law had a fatal stroke. And not quite two weeks ago, my Father-in-Law got remarried.

The wedding ceremony and reception were tastefully executed, paying the proper respect to the loving relationship that Joe and Terry had shared for 43 years, but not making it another memorial service. However, it was still uncomfortable for many in attendance. Especially my dear husband, who was asked to stand beside his Father in support of this new union, when he really just wanted to punch a wall several times that weekend. I imagine that the event brought a reality and a finality to his Mother's death, more so than even the ceremony we held at Christmas to place her ashes in a niche. And I know he misses her greatly everyday, but this particular day those feelings were brought to the forefront of his consciousness. His sister had a difficult time as well. As did several of Joe and Terry's friends, who just couldn't pull it together and truthfully shouldn't have come if they couldn't be strong and supportive for the family. And of course, it was a much happier occasion for her guests, which was awkward for those of us who didn't know how to feel about it.

Her name is Susan. They met on eHarmony just 2 months after Terry died. She is lovely, kind and generous, and always tries to be sensitive to the situation with Dave's family. And she brings laughter and joy to Joe's life, for which I am thankful.

But she isn't Terry. She isn't the Mother-in-Law I signed up for. She isn't the woman I had only started to know and love when she was taken from us. And now that Dave and I are starting our own family, I find myself torn about this new, and somewhat unfamiliar, relationship. Neither I nor Dave begrudge his Dad a new partner with whom to enjoy his retirement and travel and be happy. But I know that Dave is not comfortable having a stepmother, especially this quickly. And I cannot imagine having my children call her Grandma, because their Grandmother is gone.

So many of my friends have told me that I will have no control over what my kids will call their grandparents, because you can't predict what they will say when they first use words to address them. So I guess I'm hoping that the first one will come up with some clever, cute phrase that will stick, that doesn't include any form of the word "grandmother". Or that I can guide it somehow. Maybe Papa Joe and SueSue?

Monday, September 15, 2008

So I have a new job. Actually, I have had for about 3 months now. But given my latest experience with new jobs, I was reluctant to post anything until I knew how I felt about it (which is why there was never a post about my previous job, which SUCKED). Anyway, now the jury is in about the new job, and the unanimous verdict is that I LOVE IT!

Nevermind that I'm sick this week because the past two weeks have been insanely stressful and busy (we had our biggest tradeshow last week, which falls under my responsibility to plan and execute -- it went off with rave reviews, by the way). I still enjoy it. I like the people, I'm challenged by the workload, my boss actually cares about and provides feedback on my projects, I'm learning new things, I'm traveling less than before (but still a little bit, and to much more interesting places), I'm getting paid fairly (though I'd take more if they offered!), the benefits are good, the company structure and culture are a great fit for me, the headquarters are new and beautifully decorated, the commute isn't bad (and it's close to my husband's office, so we carpool sometimes), and we have a fancy coffee/tea machine and baskets of snacks. They even got me an ice cream cake for my birthday last month and sang to me. I do miss the view from my old office atop the 12th floor, but that's really it.

It only took one bad employment experience to learn what's most important to me in a work environment. So I guess for that I'm thankful. But I'm more thankful to be out of that job and into this one, where I feel like I actually have a future and where I don't have to be miserable for one third of my life!