Thursday, March 31, 2005

Dear Miss Manners,

What is the proper "etiquette" when one's ex- husband is ill? Phone rang last night at 2am. It was daughter #2, weeping hysterically. Her stepmother had just called her to say her father was in the hospital in ICU with what has turned out to be pneumonia.

We were divorced 15 years ago. Relationship cordial for the sake of the kids. But they are seniors in college and we've not spoken for a couple of years. I figured once the girls graduated from high school they could create their own relationship without any assistance from me. He's been remarried for 15 years and he has his life and I have mine. We've little in common, other than our girls.

So what do I do now? I phoned his wife to ask there was anything I could do, told her I'd fly daughter #2 in and pick her up from the airport etc. Daughter #1 who lives closer is driving. Daughters are staying with us, which they always do when they are in town. I'll give daughter #2 free rein with my car so she can go to the hospital at will.

It's odd when someone who is very important to 2 people you love dearly is ill but you have no prescribed role. When I called the nurse in ICU asked "are you a relative?". "No" I said, but "I'm the mother of his children."

So, in this day of blended families what's the proper thing to do?


callieischatty said...

I think you already did what you could do which is call and support the new wife and help your kids get thru it.
I don't know if its the right thing to do to go and see him or not.
I guess it depends on how you feel in your heart.

Pigs said...

Eek. I don't know what's appropriate, but you sure are being nice! I don't know what else you could do!