When this woman is upset with her grandparents, she asks Reddit:
My mom died (F) when I was 6 and my dad got remarried when I was 11. My stepmom has always been really great.
She married a guy with young kids but never tried to take over or place herself into the family where my mom once was, she created a new slot, a different slot, and made it work.
But my dad's parents have always been pretty old school in their thinking. They used to see it as disrespectful that we called our stepmom Jean or that she didn't adopt us.
My dad and stepmom's wedding was sort of rushed, because Jean was pregnant and my dad was due to have surgery on his back, so they did a very quick courthouse thing.
Fast forward and it's about to me 30 years since they married. And my grandparents are giving her shit. I didn't realize at the time but they had told her she should have worn some of my mom's jewelry, should have made some speech about taking over from her and tried to lay claim to my mom's life and possessions in some kinda way.
They said it would be 'comforting' for us and show how much she respected her mom and appreciated that she was taking over for her. The whole thing is so damn weird and gross. I'm talking about to both my mom and Jean.
I can't imagine my mom would want dad's second wife taking all the stuff she left behind for herself, instead of it being for her kids. Even more to make a speech that to me sounds a lot like 'you stay dead, this is mine now'. And for Jean... She's not my mom. She's a different person.
She will always be reminded that she only came because of heartache and pain, that she wasn't the first wife, she's not the mother, she's not the one we all have cried for and miss and wish we could have back. It has never bothered her but I'm sure it was awkward at first.
To find a place that respected that while also making her feel like she truly belonged and wasn't second best.
But my grandparents essentially wanted her and still want her to become the person our mom was instead of being her own unique person, on a day where she is celebrating HER marriage to dad and not my parents marriage.
So when I herd this being sad (and my dad was never aware of what went on). I told them it was creepy to expect her to take over another person's life like that and that it's disgusting to try and bring someone down for not wanting to disrespect someone else's memory.
I pointed out that trying to be them, trying to take over and replace them, is disrespectful and not some great honor. I also told them that Jean never tried to be our mother because she knew, always, that she wasn't and she never could be. But she could be Jean, and she could be something different but important to our family.
My grandparents are pissed. My dad could not believe it when he found out. He was so mad at his parents. Other family members are saying I took it all out of context and that I was the one being disrespectful, to my grandparents and to Jean. AITA?
Solid NTA on your part. Thank you for defending Jean and pointing out that Jean never replaces mum but does act as an adoptive parental figure in your time of need in your growing years.
I am sure your late mother would have been proud of you for the person you are today and would be thankful to Jean for ensuring you grew up into a fine person.
Your grandparents are the real disrespectful people and they need to understand that just because someone is gone it does not mean they can be replaced.
NTA- You are right and very mature. They seem to be trying to replace your mom to comfort themselves. When we lose someone, we want to fill that hole so desperately and do these sort of things.
I think they couldn't deal with the loss properly and couldn't grieve in a healthy way. They just somehow want to fill that hole your mom's death caused in their and your family's hearts and lives.
NTA, you’re right, that was creepy and disgusting and it’s also bizarre that they’re still saying it decades later.
Doing what they wanted likely would have caused her to be “that woman my dad married” rather than a person you clearly like, who respected the children she was taking on enough to find her own place in their lives.