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Retirement Is Too Far Away

Parenting & Family > Christmas


I need some advice, and hopefully y'all will have a plethora for me. ha

My oldest brother Steve has had some major health complications over the past few years, and they have gotten progressively worse, most likely leading to brain surgery within the next few months. He lives in the house I grew up in in upstate NY with his AMAZING fiance, Linda, who takes such great care of him that we are all very grateful for her. He sleeps a ton, doesn't walk well and is incoherent most of the time.

For Christmas we all usually gather in WI at my parents house. My other older brother Mike lives in WI as well, so for Steve and I it's just easiest to go there.Mike has 3 older kids, Steve has an adult child in WI as well.

This year Steve can't travel for medical reasons. Steve ALWAYS wants to spend time with us over the holidays and hasn't missed one yet. He invited everyone to Vestal to stay with him since he can't travel.

So here is where the trouble lies. My parents are going to visit at a time other than Christmas and Mike just went out there to visit. No one is planning on going there for Christmas since we don't know what state Steve will be in or if he will even be up for anyone visiting. I am TORN. My besties have told me that our family can stay with them so we'd have a place to stay without being too invasive, but we would miss out on the rest of the family (my mom has 9 brothers and sisters and I have like 50 cousins in WI). But then I wouldn't be there for Steve... if he is coherent enough to know.

What would you all do? Should we drive to WI for Christmas per usual or should we go to NY since we can? The trip to NY would certainly be shorter... but we'd be in a totally new environment for Christmas and my kiddos are young and believe in Santa and all that business.

Advice? NY or WI? If we went to WI I'd certainly visit Steve at another time... but I also would feel terrible if Steve had no family with him on Christmas. Alas, his fiance has family nearby so Steve wouldn't be alone, but he wouldn't be with his family, which he always has been in the past.

I am torn.

posted on Nov 17, 2018 5:41 AM ()


Oh boy! This is a tough decision! Christmas, in my opinion, is a time for Family and for the youngsters. I would go to WI, and then I would swing the car a bit north to NY on the way back home for a day.
comment by hayduke on Nov 17, 2018 3:47 PM ()
That was what Ron suggested but it adds 5+ hours in the car, and with a 4 and 5 year old it's not ideal, to say the least.
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 18, 2018 6:17 AM ()
Even a short visit from family including young ones would be cheering for Steve, I'd guess. And how nice it would also be for his fiance, whose good mood he depends upon.
comment by drmaus on Nov 17, 2018 12:29 PM ()
I do know he is concerned that he won't be able to interact with them as he'd like, but I still think it's better to give it a shot.
Thank you for your opinion!
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 18, 2018 6:16 AM ()
I think you already know what you want to do but you'd like a little conformation and support, and maybe even permission. Not having a large family, I can't begin to identify with your situation. But I can say that I always went to my bro's place on Long Island when my mother was alive. She died in '94 and I haven't seen my nieces sin 2002 or so, although I follow their lives on fb.
comment by jjoohhnn on Nov 17, 2018 10:45 AM ()
I do know what I want to do and I do want confirmation. You are very smart.
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 18, 2018 6:15 AM ()
Your kids are young, so Santa Christmas is a big thing for them and you want to be together with them. Can you do a Santa Christmas at Steve's? If you can, then I agree with the others and visiting Steve with them would be good.
comment by stiva on Nov 17, 2018 10:19 AM ()
Well we would stay with my best friend, but we would be able to visit Steve on Christmas which is the important part.
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 18, 2018 6:15 AM ()
I say go to New York. The kids would be a distraction from the sadness. Just take their toys and let them enjoy Santa there. Next Christmas you can be with extended family. Treasure this time with Steve.
comment by elderjane on Nov 17, 2018 7:55 AM ()
Thank you for weighing in. I was looking forward to your opinion! I think we will go to NY.
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 18, 2018 6:14 AM ()
Can a relative take your kids to Wisconsin to enjoy family and Christmas cheer, while you go to visit Steve? I'd be inclined to honor Steve, since he might not be around for future events. And if you were in Steve's shoes, would you want to see family make the effort? Or would you feel abandoned and resigned to your fate? I lost my first husband who was ill for years. I spent every available minute with him. I am not sorry I did that.
comment by tealstar on Nov 17, 2018 7:24 AM ()
I do feel like my family abandoned him. Thank you for weighing in, I think I have my answer. We would have the kiddos with us wherever we go.
reply by kristilyn3 on Nov 18, 2018 6:14 AM ()

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