My Elderly Mother Wants Our Family to Gather for Christmas, but We Don't Get Along | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

My Elderly Mother Wants Our Family to Gather for Christmas, but We Don't Get Along 

click to enlarge ID 234535393 © NICOLETA IONESCU | DREAMSTIME.COM

Dear Reverend,

I'm the youngest of five children. My siblings have complicated relationships, and we haven't had a real family gathering in a very long time. My father passed away many years ago, and my mother is 87 years old now. She would love to have us all together for Christmas like in the old times, but I don't know whether that will be possible, since nobody gets along. What can I do?

Potential Peacemaker (female, 50)

Dear Potential Peacemaker,

I hope your mother has many happy and healthy years ahead of her, but tomorrow is guaranteed to no one — especially when you're nearing 90. I've known people who have keeled over out of the blue before they were 50, so age really makes no difference. None of us knows how much time we have here on Earth, so your siblings would be wise to take heed and make better use of theirs.

Unless they are complete jerks, I'd imagine that your family members would show up to your mother's funeral and act decently toward each other. So they need to suck it up, check their differences at the door and show up for Mom while she's still here. Making that happen might be up to you.

Start by calling your siblings individually and letting them know how important a family gathering is to your mother. Keep the expectations simple and time commitment small. Make it clear that you're not trying to force everyone to mend fences; you just want to give your mother some peace and happiness for the holiday. If they don't listen to you, call in the big guns and get Mom on the horn.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

Fill out my online form.
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

The Reverend

Bio:
What's your problem? Need some irreverent counsel on life's conundrums? You can always just "Ask the Rev."

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Ask the Rev.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation