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College graduation and grandparents - posting an update at post #38


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#1 Hoggirl

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 08:41 PM

Okay, I'm clearly needing to vent. Ds graduates in 18 mos. MIL tonight made noises about attending his college graduation. Sigh. It's going to be VERY challenging. LOTS of walking. FIL is s.l.o.w. This is already stressing me out!!! I do not want them to come. It will be difficult. I know this is selfish. Please either teach me to be more gracious/kind or JAWM. Fil will be 82 and mil will be 79.

Edited by Hoggirl, 07 August 2017 - 04:32 PM.


#2 maize

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 08:53 PM

18 months out? Don't worry about it now, a lot can change in a year and a half.

When you get closer, if they still want to come, call the university and ask what kinds of accommodations they might have for handicapped folks attending graduation. Maybe they have golf carts that could ferry them where they need to go?
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#3 Lori D.

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 08:55 PM

Hire a sibling of the graduate to be in charge of grandparents so you can focus on the graduate?

Call the college and arrange for wheelchairs and college students to push the grandparents around so you don't have to worry about it?


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#4 Hoggirl

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 09:07 PM

18 months out? Don't worry about it now, a lot can change in a year and a half.

When you get closer, if they still want to come, call the university and ask what kinds of accommodations they might have for handicapped folks attending graduation. Maybe they have golf carts that could ferry them where they need to go?

They do, but PRIDE.

You are right, though. Much can change in 18 mos.

Edited by Hoggirl, 26 December 2016 - 09:08 PM.

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#5 Hoggirl

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 09:14 PM

Hire a sibling of the graduate to be in charge of grandparents so you can focus on the graduate?
Call the college and arrange for wheelchairs and college students to push the grandparents around so you don't have to worry about it?


That is a great idea, but ds is an only. College is very good about offering accommodations. Mil will likely not need. Fil won't accept because of his pridefulness.

This will be an expensive trip for all. They can afford it, but FIL is insufferable. Ugh.

#6 Lori D.

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 09:33 PM

That is a great idea, but ds is an only. College is very good about offering accommodations. Mil will likely not need. Fil won't accept because of his pridefulness.

This will be an expensive trip for all. They can afford it, but FIL is insufferable. Ugh.

 

Agreeing with Maize that at their ages, much can change in 18 months. If your in-laws are still able to go, then just plan for lots and lots of extra time to get where needed, all of you use the college golf cart service, and focus on gratitude that your DS will have so many family members there to love on him and cheer his accomplishment. :)

 

Hugs and blessings and joy for all of you for that future exciting event! :)


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#7 Diana P.

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 10:56 PM

What about the other grandparents?

Some schools give out a very limited number of tickets. Maybe that could be an excuse.

We aren't inviting grandparents. We know my parents want to come. It's just too stressful for many reasons. We may have a small celebration (backyard BBQ) at home after the fact and invite grandparents.
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#8 Scoutermom

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 10:57 PM

We have similar but different issues. My DD finished classes this month but won't walk until May. She's the second grandchild on my DH's side to graduate college and the first on my side. She's actually the second person on my side to graduate from college. None of her grandparents wants to attend the graduation. It's sad. DD is aware of their feelings and that doesn't make it any easier. My ILs made a big deal about the first grandchild graduating (she's the obvious favorite) and we sincerely hoped they would at least come out for DD's ceremony.

 

We have 5 months to try to bribe/persuade/guilt grandparents into coming.


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#9 Hoggirl

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for listening. Too much togetherness at Christmas, I suppose.

From my limited knowledge of how graduation works, there isn't a way to allow for lots and lots of time. There is a large, all-university ceremony in the stadium and then everyone must hustle to get to the individual college (e.g. College of Engineering) graduations and there is very little time in between. They could skip the big one (though it's pretty fun, I think, and that's where the "fancy" speaker speaks) and just go to the individual one if I could convince them to do that. They are not super good at recognizing (accepting?) the fact that they (especially fil) are really not as able-bodied as they used to be.

There aren't any other grandparents. My parents both died before dh and I married. Even if there were, there are no space restrictions either at the large ceremony or at the smaller ones.

I'm sorry, Scoutermom. That sounds rotten. We are fortunate in that the in-laws only have two grandchildren. Our son and dh's sister's one daughter. It's made favorites a non-issue since there is the favorite grandson and the favorite granddaughter.

Ds's school is 1,800 miles away, so I don't think we could ask them to fly all that way just for a party afterwards. Ds has no plans to permanently return to our home state, but perhaps he could go visit them for a celebration after he graduates.
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#10 TammyS

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 02:02 PM

I agree with what everyone else said about a lot can change in 18mos.  That is what I would pin my hopes on.

 

Second, it's not really up to you.  It's up to your graduate to decide who they want to attend the graduation. 

 

Third, if the only problem is that FIL is slow, then I think you are being selfish.  Sorry.  These people care about your son and want to be there! That is a wonderful thing!  And you can model true love for your son by showing him that we don't leave people out just because they are older and move slowly.  I think that's horrible.  If nothing else, consider if this is how you want your son to view you when you are older.  Remember, he will be making these decisions for you some day.

 

Fourth, I wouldn't worry about it until 4 weeks before graduation (or the date at which travel plans are finalized), but if at that point the inlaws are still alive and still want to come, I would be very direct with FIL and tell him that you will all have to move FAST from one location to another, and that he will need to let you know now that he is going to be ok using a (golf cart, motorized chair, whatever) or it won't be possible for him to attend (NOT "you won't allow" or "you won't want him to"....just "he won't be able" to).  But wait on it.  He's got another 18 months to die or wrap his head around his condition.  A LOT can change in 18 months.


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#11 daijobu

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 02:39 PM

I might go ahead and order a wheel chair for the event and push it with you--empty or not--as you proceed from one ceremony to the next.  You FIL can choose to take the ride, or walk at his own pace and miss the ceremony.   


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#12 Hoggirl

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 03:01 PM

I agree with what everyone else said about a lot can change in 18mos. That is what I would pin my hopes on.

Second, it's not really up to you. It's up to your graduate to decide who they want to attend the graduation.

Third, if the only problem is that FIL is slow, then I think you are being selfish. Sorry. These people care about your son and want to be there! That is a wonderful thing! And you can model true love for your son by showing him that we don't leave people out just because they are older and move slowly. I think that's horrible. If nothing else, consider if this is how you want your son to view you when you are older. Remember, he will be making these decisions for you some day.

Fourth, I wouldn't worry about it until 4 weeks before graduation (or the date at which travel plans are finalized), but if at that point the inlaws are still alive and still want to come, I would be very direct with FIL and tell him that you will all have to move FAST from one location to another, and that he will need to let you know now that he is going to be ok using a (golf cart, motorized chair, whatever) or it won't be possible for him to attend (NOT "you won't allow" or "you won't want him to"....just "he won't be able" to). But wait on it. He's got another 18 months to die or wrap his head around his condition. A LOT can change in 18 months.


I needed to read this. Thank you for being so direct.

It is more than his being slow. I do not enjoy being around him at all. He is a condescending, mysogynistic, grumpy, bossy know-it-all. Who also happens to move slowly but not recognize his limitations. But, you are right, I am being selfish because I'd rather not have to put up with him. You are also right that I have no control over whether they attend or not. As much as I dislike his being around, I don't like the idea of wishing him additional decline over the next 18 mos.

I previously saw an idea on CC about using Google maps to determine distances and letting grandparents know ahead of time how far they need to be able to walk in how long a period of time. He will be insulted if I "book" a golf cart or whatever without his "permission." So perhaps I will use the google map idea and let him know that I can arrange it if he wants it. However, if he declines that knowing what is required, I would not hesitate to leave him behind. I'm not going to miss the individual college ceremony because of his stubbornness.

As I previously stated, I had just spent three days with them, and my patience had worn thin by the time the mention of this came up, so I wasn't in the best frame of mind about it. But, again, that's no excuse. And I do want to set a good example for ds.
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#13 Artichoke

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 07:35 PM

Thanks for listening. Too much togetherness at Christmas, I suppose.

From my limited knowledge of how graduation works, there isn't a way to allow for lots and lots of time. There is a large, all-university ceremony in the stadium and then everyone must hustle to get to the individual college (e.g. College of Engineering) graduations and there is very little time in between. They could skip the big one (though it's pretty fun, I think, and that's where the "fancy" speaker speaks) and just go to the individual one if I could convince them to do that. They are not super good at recognizing (accepting?) the fact that they (especially fil) are really not as able-bodied as they used to be.

There aren't any other grandparents. My parents both died before dh and I married. Even if there were, there are no space restrictions either at the large ceremony or at the smaller ones.

I'm sorry, Scoutermom. That sounds rotten. We are fortunate in that the in-laws only have two grandchildren. Our son and dh's sister's one daughter. It's made favorites a non-issue since there is the favorite grandson and the favorite granddaughter.

Ds's school is 1,800 miles away, so I don't think we could ask them to fly all that way just for a party afterwards. Ds has no plans to permanently return to our home state, but perhaps he could go visit them for a celebration after he graduates.

 

 

MIL who was recuperating from hip surgery went to our son's out of town graduation.  The set-up was similar to what you're describing above but with the College Graduation Luncheon before the large ceremony.  We had to sit  down with MIL and talk about the logistics  of going from one to the other quickly.  Once she saw the schedule and map in black and white she was okay with only going to the later, larger event.  She took a taxi to the arena, and we met her out front.  It was still slow going but not as bad since she was dropped off literally at the door.   Best wishes as you make plans. 


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#14 TechWife

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 08:53 PM

 

 

Third, if the only problem is that FIL is slow, then I think you are being selfish.  Sorry.  These people care about your son and want to be there! That is a wonderful thing!  And you can model true love for your son by showing him that we don't leave people out just because they are older and move slowly.  I think that's horrible.  If nothing else, consider if this is how you want your son to view you when you are older.  Remember, he will be making these decisions for you some day.

 

 

This, exactly. Life just has to slow down when people are older and the people who love them and care for and about them need to be willing to slow down when they are with them. 

 

I understand that there are logistical challenges involved, but an honest conversation is better than leaving them out. Explain what has to happen about moving between locations, the distance and time frame. Give them the option to attend one of the ceremonies (and let them choose which one, they could arrive early at the second location and save seats for the family when you are at the large commencement ceremony if that is their preference) or to use some type of transportation aid to move between the two locations. It may even be that the university will run buses from the large group ceremony to the different departmental ceremonies, check with the Dean of Students office (or whatever office runs graduation).  Your FIL is not unique in his needs, there will be many people there with similar limitations. 


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#15 J-rap

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:02 PM

I'm sorry.  We've taken a lot of trips in recent years with my parents, who are now 88 and 89, even out of the country.  We've had to change the whole tone of our trips when they're with us.  But, I guess it's a little different with them because my kids adore them.  They're cheerful and supportive and fun.  With a little planning, I don't have to worry too much.  I make sure their rooms are convenient and safe, and we don't plan as much in our day.  Or if we do, we make sure to find a nice coffeeshop or garden where they can sit for awhile and we meet up with them later.  Or, we arrange for taxis or Ubers if they need to retire early.  It's all part of being a family together.  Years down the road, your ds will remember that his grandparents made the effort to attend his graduation and it will mean something.


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#16 TammyS

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:12 PM

. However, if he declines that knowing what is required, I would not hesitate to leave him behind. I'm not going to miss the individual college ceremony because of his stubbornness.

 

 

Which is completely reasonable. 

 

Also, I don't think this is YOUR job.  It's your dh's job.  Let him talk to his father and sort it all out (or not).  If, at graduation, FIL can't get there on time, that's not your problem.  That is your dh's problem.  You follow your son to watch him graduate. 


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#17 TechWife

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:47 PM

Or, we arrange for taxis or Ubers if they need to retire early.  

 

There's an idea - what if the entire family Uber from one location to the other together? It may take more than one car, but it might be a workable, acceptable solution. 


Edited by TechWife, 30 December 2016 - 09:48 PM.

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#18 scholarly

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:05 PM

If FIL is insistent on attending when the time comes, you might consider hiring one of your DS's friends as an escort for the day. He/she could assist in getting the grandparents where they need to be at a slower pace, if you are in danger of missing something, or helping them to find seats while you and your DH park the car, etc.  My small college had underclassmen volunteer to help with things like this because graduations can be so hectic and confusing. Even at our tiny campus, extended families often split up because someone went ahead to save seats, someone parked the car, someone went to the restroom, someone needed a picture waaaay over there, and so on, so a companion for the older folks could come in handy.


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#19 Hoggirl

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:25 AM

I'm sorry. We've taken a lot of trips in recent years with my parents, who are now 88 and 89, even out of the country. We've had to change the whole tone of our trips when they're with us. But, I guess it's a little different with them because my kids adore them. They're cheerful and supportive and fun. With a little planning, I don't have to worry too much. I make sure their rooms are convenient and safe, and we don't plan as much in our day. Or if we do, we make sure to find a nice coffeeshop or garden where they can sit for awhile and we meet up with them later. Or, we arrange for taxis or Ubers if they need to retire early. It's all part of being a family together. Years down the road, your ds will remember that his grandparents made the effort to attend his graduation and it will mean something.


I think that is lovely of you. But, I can't change the "tone" of graduation or slow down its pace, so I think what you are describing is a different type of situation. During our Christmas trip to the in-laws', we went to visit a Preidential Library, We absolutely slowed our pace. We could do it leisurely. That's a great option when one has the ability to set one's own agenda. That's not the case at graduation.

I'm not telling them they can't come. I can't keep them from attending. They are ds's only grandparents as my parents were killed before dh and I were even married. My mil has been a fantastic grandparent. Fil not so much, but he is very proud of our ds. Of course I can understand their wanting to be there. I just hope they don't pay for a cross-country trip and hotel, etc. only to wind up sitting in a garden and meeting up with us later. But it will be their choice if they do that. All I can do is explain the situation and hope for the best.
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#20 Hoggirl

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:27 AM

There's an idea - what if the entire family Uber from one location to the other together? It may take more than one car, but it might be a workable, acceptable solution.


I'll have to check the layout of the campus map more carefully to know better if this would help. Not sure how close a driver could get.
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#21 J-rap

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:38 AM

I think that is lovely of you. But, I can't change the "tone" of graduation or slow down its pace, so I think what you are describing is a different type of situation. During our Christmas trip to the in-laws', we went to visit a Preidential Library, We absolutely slowed our pace. We could do it leisurely. That's a great option when one has the ability to set one's own agenda. That's not the case at graduation.

I'm not telling them they can't come. I can't keep them from attending. They are ds's only grandparents as my parents were killed before dh and I were even married. My mil has been a fantastic grandparent. Fil not so much, but he is very proud of our ds. Of course I can understand their wanting to be there. I just hope they don't pay for a cross-country trip and hotel, etc. only to wind up sitting in a garden and meeting up with us later. But it will be their choice if they do that. All I can do is explain the situation and hope for the best.

 

Yes, I was thinking that after I wrote what I wrote -- that the situation really wasn't the same.  Sorry.  I do understand your unique concerns even though it may not have come across that way.  

 

As others have said, a lot can happen in 18 months!  If they know the plan ahead of time and are able-bodied but just slow, perhaps they can be on their own a bit once they are there?  That is, you can all start out together and know the schedule, but you can be at your pace and they at theirs.  Perhaps the school will have student guides who can assist them.  Or, perhaps they'd actually be completely content taking part in some of it and sitting in a garden for some of it!  They're still part of it all in their own way.  Hopefully things will just sort of work themselves out as time draws close.

 

Also, I'm very sorry about your parents.  That sounds horrible.


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#22 Hoggirl

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:49 AM

Yes, I was thinking that after I wrote what I wrote -- that the situation really wasn't the same. Sorry. I do understand your unique concerns even though it may not have come across that way.

As others have said, a lot can happen in 18 months! If they know the plan ahead of time and are able-bodied but just slow, perhaps they can be on their own a bit once they are there? That is, you can all start out together and know the schedule, but you can be at your pace and they at theirs. Perhaps the school will have student guides who can assist them. Or, perhaps they'd actually be completely content taking part in some of it and sitting in a garden for some of it! They're still part of it all in their own way. Hopefully things will just sort of work themselves out as time draws close.

Also, I'm very sorry about your parents. That sounds horrible.


Thanks.

You're right - they might be perfectly happy with just part of it. I just worry. Ha ha! Which is my own problem! I did some looking on the school's website, and I was mistaken - no golf carts are provided. They do provide a list of resources for wheelchair rentals, and there is an option (I didn't look too closely at requirements) to get a temporary parking pass for disability parking. Which makes sense - a rental car wouldn't have a disability tag. He doesn't have a disability tag, and he doesn't need a wheelchair. He walks fine - just slowly and shuffle-ly. Which is why I think he would be super resistant to that particular idea.

I'm waaayyyy too far ahead of myself. It just kinda caught me off guard that mil even brought it up so far out. So I started worrying/panicking prematurely.
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#23 Starr

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:01 AM

It's just plain ole extra hard when people are so grumpy one can't help them. I have to have dh walk with my mom because if I do she thinks I'm being patronizing. When the time comes I would get a golf cart and or wheel chair and handicapped seating. He's going to be mad if you run off and leave him while he moves slowly and rests so he might as well be annoyed that you have an answer. ;)


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#24 Lori D.

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 04:46 PM

Thanks.

You're right - they might be perfectly happy with just part of it. I just worry. Ha ha! Which is my own problem! I did some looking on the school's website, and I was mistaken - no golf carts are provided. They do provide a list of resources for wheelchair rentals, and there is an option (I didn't look too closely at requirements) to get a temporary parking pass for disability parking. Which makes sense - a rental car wouldn't have a disability tag. He doesn't have a disability tag, and he doesn't need a wheelchair. He walks fine - just slowly and shuffle-ly. Which is why I think he would be super resistant to that particular idea.

I'm waaayyyy too far ahead of myself. It just kinda caught me off guard that mil even brought it up so far out. So I started worrying/panicking prematurely.

 

 

:grouphug:  Hope it all works out well, and in a way that ends up surprising you that it went so smoothly with no slowness, missing anything, or any frustrations for anyone, but rather is a day of rejoicing and celebration.  :grouphug:


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#25 Diana P.

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 06:17 PM

I'm all for including people. I do think it's selfish of the person who is insisting to be included to not recognize how they may not be able to do everything or may need alternate transport/accomodation. I don't know about the OPs family, but I do know some older people who would insist they be able to do everything and then when they couldn't other family members would also have to miss getting to events because the one family member couldn't keep up. As a mom, I'm not sure I could be cheerful about missing some of my child's graduation events because I had to hang back and deal with someone who insisted they could do what was needed, but couldn't. 

 

The way I'd approach it is show them what they might be expected to do. This spring I might download the schedule as an example, making it clear that the schedule of events could change. But use that schedule to give them an idea of how strenuous the day will be. I'd suggest options of limiting events, using wheelchairs, etc. Then when the graduation schedule for ds graduation is published, I'd note distances and timelines again  with the grandparents. 

 

My neighbor went through something with similar issues last summer. She has a small property in Colorado that has been in her family for a couple generations -- she is the sole owner at this time, but her parents used to own the property. The property is no longer easily accessible since the floods a couple years ago. Any vehicle they use must be parked quite a distance away now. Getting there requires crossing a narrow (very narrow) footbridge, plus some other walking that requires sure footing.  Her father decided he was going to see it last summer. He can no longer do strenuous walking, he has poor balance and is extremely overweight. Once he got to the cabin, he would have difficulty using the bathroom. It would have been extremely dangerous for her father to attempt physically getting to the cabin. So, my neighbor explained the physical requirements to get to the property. It took multiple times, but her father finally decided he would just visit the nearby town. It was a sad decision by my neighbor to push that, but safety was a serious issue. 


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#26 daijobu

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 09:06 PM

Which is completely reasonable. 

 

Also, I don't think this is YOUR job.  It's your dh's job.  Let him talk to his father and sort it all out (or not).  If, at graduation, FIL can't get there on time, that's not your problem.  That is your dh's problem.  You follow your son to watch him graduate. 

 

I agree with Tammy.  My dh and I have a division of labor with respect to each other's parents.  By default, and inconveniences caused by my parents are my job and his are his.  


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#27 Heigh Ho

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:07 PM

We ask another relative to escort mil, since she is unable to grasp that a handicap permit doesn't get you front row parking at graduations,and scooter use doesn't get you front row seating.
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#28 FaithManor

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:10 PM

It is a very limited number of tickets that we got from U of MI for dd and will get for ds, same school. So grandparents will get an invte to the restaurant afterward, but only dh and I plus sibs will attend the graduation.

Many colleges have limited seating so maybe the problem will take care of itself.
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#29 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:33 PM

Another consideration.  If there is a main graduation and then departmental graduation, they may prefer just going to the departmental one.  They will miss the long speeches, but get to see their grad walk across the stage.

 

 


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#30 Hoggirl

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:11 PM

Bumping this up to give latest development.

One of my dear friends suggested doing what she did with her folks and in-laws. She knew they all wanted a "visual" of their grandson's college campus, so they chose a weekend that was NOT busy - not parents' weekend - just an ordinary weekend. They all went to visit the ds/grandson. She asked him ahead of time to pick out a couple of his favorite haunts for dining, and they ate at those. Walked around campus and rested when they needed to rest. I suggested this to dh, and he talked to his parents about this yesterday. I *think* they are on board for our all going to visit ds at Thanksgiving - he gets a week off. We'll have more time together as a family, and we can go at our own speed with no requirements of being anywhere at any specific time. We can also attend a football game - my fil played in college and, for a short time in the pros. He was also a college football official for 35 years or so. I think this will be much less stressful and enjoyable for all. And, after seeing the size of the campus, they can make an *informed* decision about graduation.
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#31 gstharr

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 06:26 PM

My last graduation ceremony was an out of town school.  Made me  both graduating student and the party planner.  Talk about stress.  The person who stressed me out was my mother. Pampered, hardheaded, overly sensitive and heavy set.  Told her to book the flight to the airport closest  to me--she booked the farther one.  Missed graduation activities because of the 5 hours r/t took to pick her up.  Told her to stay with me because I had a 2 bedroom lake view apartment (a perk of being an older student with 401k funds), or at least stay in a nice hotel near me--she booked one on the far side of  a neighboring city.  Missed  early  and late graduation day  activities having to pick her up and returning her to hotel.  Missed post graduation activities by taking her around, because she did not have ground transportation (and even if she rented a car, the city is very difficult to navigate), and was in staying in an area with no surrounding tourist spot..  Could not hold graduation dinner at a little reasonably priced place I enjoyed because she would not eat if I did.  Every time, I think about it, I wish I had  let her suffer the consequences of not cooperating with me for my graduation. 


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#32 Laurel-in-CA

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 09:36 PM

I have a friend with MS and I've been amazed when attending public events like concerts with her how smooth they've made it for a person in a wheelchair. Perhaps your FIL would love the idea of a chair that gets him into the front row, or arriving early for the very best seat? This would mean early communication with the school, but I am sure he's not the only elderly person who wants to be at a grandchild's ceremony.

 

Great that there are no restrictions on tickets. DS is graduating in the local state U's music center. 3 tickets per family and nothing more. We can't even have all his sisters attend and have no grandparents to invite (as dh's parents are forever not talking to us). If they were speaking to us, being excluded from the event would probably be "our fault" and then they'd not be speaking to us again, LOL.

 

Congrats to your ds.


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#33 FaithManor

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:19 PM

I have a friend with MS and I've been amazed when attending public events like concerts with her how smooth they've made it for a person in a wheelchair. Perhaps your FIL would love the idea of a chair that gets him into the front row, or arriving early for the very best seat? This would mean early communication with the school, but I am sure he's not the only elderly person who wants to be at a grandchild's ceremony.

Great that there are no restrictions on tickets. DS is graduating in the local state U's music center. 3 tickets per family and nothing more. We can't even have all his sisters attend and have no grandparents to invite (as dh's parents are forever not talking to us). If they were speaking to us, being excluded from the event would probably be "our fault" and then they'd not be speaking to us again, LOL.

Congrats to your ds.


We will face the same in two years. I am so thankful that dsl attends a school with limited seating because we can simply state that the tickets determined to x.

Right now we face it because ds is singing Beethoven's 9th with the symphony. Tickets are $58 each! My mother and father figure want to go. It is May 13th, and he has two months to live...best prognosis. Weak as sheep, can not sit up that long, and likely would have to leave the performance early. They cannot drive in the city so we would have to transport them thus leaving early. So I said no, we could not take them and gently explained that this was very important to us so we are not willing to put ourselves in a position to very probably have to leave mine performance nor are we going to pay $232.00 for tickets knowing the likely outcome. We told them that the performance will be recorded and we will buy the DVD so they can watch it later.

Wow are we the bad guys now!! Seriously these people are angry. Sigh...but then I have been their kicking post for two years now so it was anticipated.

But, this situation with them has helped me focus on one thing. I want to relish my adult children's milestones and accomplishments, thoroughly enjoy them. That means sometimes I am going to have to be tough with a few relatives.
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#34 daijobu

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 09:24 PM

Wow, FM.  Just wow.  I can't even imagine asking a parent to leave her son's concert early.  Singing Beethoven's 9th!  When a DVD is available?  For some reason I have to know if these folks are on your side of the family or your dh's?  What kind of grudge do they hold against you?  



#35 daijobu

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 09:24 PM

Heck, if your son were in kindergarten performing in a 2 bit play about dinosaurs, I would still never ask a parent to leave a concert early.


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#36 slushy

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:09 AM

HogGirl - I was feeling similar to you last year when my 88 year old MIL also said that she wanted to attend the four days of commencement events at my DS's school on the other opposite coast from where we lived. Logistics and not having a pre-occupied mind were my concerns. As others have said, anything can happen in 18 months and your ILs may change their minds. Like your friend suggested to you, my husband and I took my MIL to visit our DS who was performing in a concert on a weekend in March. We gave her the grand tour, showed her where the places where the graduation events would be taking place, bought souvenirs, met some of his classmates, and ate out at favorite eats. It was a relaxing and wonderful time as a family. After that, she was happy to stay home during the graduation and watch it live stream with a campus map and booklet in hand. We also Skyped her during the festivities so that she felt like she was there (minus the humidity, crowds, walking, and busy schedule). Hopefully, your ILs will eventually consider this option. 


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#37 Heigh Ho

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:50 AM

I am realizing for us, its more about food and entertainment out of the house than the grad. I have told mil that she can watch the live stream and have a better view,and we will take her out for dinner when the grad is back in town. If I am real lucky she will have a wedding or other party to go to at home that weekend, but if not, she will want to go and of course expect to actually find the impossible..a last minute cheap hotel room within an hour of the event, or take younger son's bed. Thanks to her behaviour at high school grad, we will not enable .. the three of us are not going to miss a minute and the focus will be on the grad. Had she been supportive of the grad throughout, the story would be different.
If she wants to arrange her own transportation and hotel,thats fine,but the focus for us will be our dc.

Edited by Heigh Ho, 04 April 2017 - 07:54 AM.

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#38 Hoggirl

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 04:46 PM

Bait and switch.

FIL has now decided he does NOT want to visit Ds at Thanksgiving. He wants to attend graduation.

I'm not sure this is set in stone, but when I shared info with MIL about getting tickets to the on-campus football game the Saturday after Thanksgiving, she texted back that FIL has decided he wants to go to graduation instead.

Sigh.

They are adults. They can do what they like. He clearly does not care about our preferences on this. Ds will have limited time for them at graduation, room rates will be high, walking distance from stadium to where diplomas are conferred is 1.2 miles with a one-hour window to traverse. I can only hope they will opt for only the diploma ceremony. However, if they do, they will be responsible for getting themselves to campus as we are going to both. It was 104 degrees at graduation this year. A total aberration, but one never knows. I will only share my hotel info if asked. He will not believe there is a need to get a room this early anyway. My dh assures me he will not allow FIL to ruin our graduation experience. I am frustrated. We had already begun our Thanksgiving travel plans.

I really thought this was all settled. My suspicion is that he never intended to go at Thanksgiving.

Edited by Hoggirl, 07 August 2017 - 04:46 PM.


#39 Margaret in CO

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 04:59 PM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:


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#40 Kassia

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:10 PM

That is stressful.  I am sorry.  I agree with the way you're handling it, though.   :grouphug:


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#41 daijobu

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:53 PM

Sounds like a good solution.  You know, my dh and I have a demarcation of responsibilities when it comes to our parents.  I handle mine, he handles his.  I never have difficult conversations--or any conversations really--with my MIL, and she isn't very difficult at all.  Likewise, if I need to have a sensitive conversation with my parents about any old thing, I would not think of foisting that on my DH.  They are my parents, and I will handle it.  

 

Maybe you just need to let go and make your in laws your dh's responsibility, so that you can relax and enjoy and celebrate your son's graduation.  (Your mantra:  it's not my problem; dh will handle it.  It's not my problem; dh will handle it.)  

 

Pretend like this isn't your family and it's a big corporation instead.  Your dh is in accounting, you work in sales.  Something hit the fan in accounting...not your job.  The accountants are freaking out, but you work in sales, so what are you supposed to do about it?  You FIL is the big IRS audit that your dh needs to handle himself.  

 

Good luck!  Keep us informed, and don't forget to enjoy yourself on that happy day.   (You WILL be happy.)


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#42 Frances

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:58 PM

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. I hope everything turns out well in the end.
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#43 Lori D.

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:13 PM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:


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#44 JanetC

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:15 PM

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Follow through with your plan for some quality time with DS (on or off campus at this point). That way if something stressful does happen in June, you'll have banked those happy memories in advance.

Letting DH handle FIL at graduation is great. It does mean he may be off helping FIL when you wanted him by you and DS, though, so enjoy your family time when you can.
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#45 FaithManor

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:16 AM

You know, we have a couple of relatives like this, and it always works out because they don't believe us when we tell them they have to move on things early, and they aren't motivated to inform themselves of the particulars from reliable sources. So they NEVER come. 

 

I think that your FIL is sounds likely to let the planning part drop and end up a no show.

 

No matter what, you enjoy your son's day and give no thought to the in laws.


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#46 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:32 PM

I don't know if this would help in your situation, but we have sometimes done an open house or a BBQ back "home" so that old friends and extended family can help to celebrate a milestone, even if they were not at the actual event.  

 

Being a military family, we are often not in a position to schedule things like graduations, Eagle courts of honor or military promotions in a way that is conducive to other people sharing in the event.  DH still has a lot of extended family and old family friends in the town he grew up in.  When we visit, we try to have an afternoon when folks can come over to share some food and talk story for a while.

 

Setting aside whether someone has a challenging personality or not, I think that it can be hard on our parents, who are growing older and aren't necessarily very mobile.  There are so many life milestones that they would like to be celebrating, but they can't participate because of distance or health.  I think this must be pretty frustrating for them to not be able to live out the active grandparenting picture they had in their minds.  


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