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Wedding! (not mine). Long journey. Elderly MIL and other complications. Magic Flying Carpet!

(27 Posts)
soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 09:06:24

Close relative announced at Xmas that they are getting married (2nd time) in the Autumn to partner who comes from Eastern European country and it will be in that country. Invitations to follow.

85 yr old MIL immediately said that she couldn't wait to go. The problem is she has not travelled anywhere for the past year when she told us how difficult and long a 2 hour train journey was. The journey to this wedding will entail getting to airport, possibly 2 hour+ train to airport, change in another Eurpean country

RudyMentary Tue 06-Jan-15 09:10:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 09:10:43

Well it depends what was difficult, doesn't it?
e.g. Limited mobility vs bored on her own

Presumably other people (your husband?) can accompany her?

Not sure what to say as don't know what the issue is!

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 09:11:56

Also, "long" is subjective.
2 hours feels a long way when you're meeting a mate for lunch.
But 5 hours could feel like no time to be in another country.

CleanLinesSharpEdges Tue 06-Jan-15 09:13:10

Well clearly MIL thinks attending this wedding is worth the effort.

I'm missing the issue here. What is it exactly?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 09:16:15

My suggestion would be to engage the airline well in advance. Tell them you have an elderly/disabled (could she use a stick?) woman passenger than needs assistance and if it's a decent airline and they have enough notice they're pretty helpful, whizzing them about on those golf cart-type things etc. Taxi to and from airport both ends.... give the taxi companies the same story.

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 09:19:05

Posted too soon. Then 4 to 5 hour journey in the wedding country . Day at wedding and then journey in reverse. We are being told there are tourism opportunities on the way to the venue and this is being organised so I imagine a whole day travelling from airport in capital to the venue.

MIL takes a taxi to the suoermarket 5 minutes away. Since the summer when her legs were badly swollen in the heat she has taken to her reclining chair and takes no exercise. She has no idea of the reality of the journey and seems to think a magic flying carpet will pick her up and deposit her at the wedding.
We will obviously be expected to accompany her. I have dietary issues which do not seem easily catered for there (little information) and I am about to have tests for an issue which will mean flying is difficult. DH, whose relative it is, is not really desperate to go.

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 09:20:47

Supermarket - sorry

RudyMentary Tue 06-Jan-15 09:24:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 09:25:07

If no-one is keen to go besides MIL, and if she's limited in her mobility, then tell her that it's not going to be possible and start talking about alternative ways to acknowledge the wedding.

My DB got married in Las Vegas a few years ago. I was lone parent to a small child and finances were stretched, my parents were already becoming infirm. We had a chat and agreed that it was best we sent good wishes and waited until they got back to the UK to celebrate

MonstrousRatbag Tue 06-Jan-15 10:41:16

MIL could be driven to the airport in a taxi. It would be very expensive but worth it for the comfort and convenience. She could do the same at the other end, miss out any sight-seeing and just recuperate before the ceremony. Then, she could possibly stay an extra day afterwards to rest and do the same taxi transfers to and from the airport in reverse.

So it is completely doable. The question is whether your MIL and other relatives are prepared to make the arrangements (and spend the money) to make it possible. The real difficulty will come if your MIL and the rest of the family start putting pressure on you and your DH to make it happen. I would decide what you want to do without reference to your MIL and tell her early, so if it is a case of having to get there under her own steam she knows that well in advance.

If you and your DH don't end up going, another relative or even a paid companion could accompany her.

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 11:26:37

Thank you for you responses. Yes I have thouht about contacting airports etc. From that point of view it has to be thought about in advance. It will be costly and my children who work in education will not be able to attend even if they could have afforded it.

I suppose I feel it will be 3 days (at least) travel for 1 day at the wedding and that will be too much for MIL but she will not understand that.

RandomNPC Tue 06-Jan-15 11:36:12

The travel insurance would be very expensive too.

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 12:17:38

Some of it will come down to how much money she has.
Money will make a lot of problems go away.
But the swollen legs history, plus a flight, sounds a worry.
If it's all possible financially and practically, perhaps a trip to the GP too?

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 12:21:14

Monstrous-you have hit the nail on the head. MIL is extremely dependent and always has been. She was widowed when younger than I am now and sees her sons as being late FIL's replacement. She will see it as our responsibility to see that she gets there and will not understand that we do not wish or need to stay for longer than necessary. She will not go inder h3r own steam as she has not done anything like that for 25 years.

Random-I don't think anyone has thought about that

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 12:22:41

Sorry- under her

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 12:39:06

Direct flights would mean a 2 to 3 hour journey in this country first.

Meerka Tue 06-Jan-15 12:44:03

Might the considerable cost put her off? flights + hotel + insurance + taxis can't be cheap!

Or does she have any medical conditions that would make it unwise for her to fly? (even if she doesn't and does go, it would be a good idea to check her doctor is ok with her flying).

If you rang a travel insurance company and they said No, that would give you an out (never mind that there might be others that said yes)

Could you emphasise how awful the food / toilets / weather in autumn / locals are in XXXX country?

Other than that, you might need to grasp the nettle and say you're arranging another celebration when they are back because you yourself can't go.

specialsubject Tue 06-Jan-15 12:56:08

first task is indeed to get quotes for travel insurance, which is tricky at her age anyway.

then if that is affordable and she is willing to pay; does she have a current passport?

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 13:05:35

Thank you everyone, I will check insurance quotes. She will not see money as an obstacle but DH will be expected to pay for things as he is a man. She does have a swollen leg/ankle issue but has been told it is okay by the GP athough he told her to rest her legs hence the reclining chair. She does not tolerate bad conditions, queueing and has germ phobias!
But she will still want to go and sigh and moan about everything.

soppycatlovelady Tue 06-Jan-15 13:07:37

She does have a passport as we took her on holiday a couple of years ago. I wil not say anymore on that.

Meerka Tue 06-Jan-15 13:10:32

Tell her that there can be claustrophobic two hour security queues at stanstead which everyone has to go through. Even if she got through you'd have to wait. Drop into the conversation that last time you were there, a little girl was sick and they didn't clean it up properly and it stank.

And oh, the last time you were in a hotel abroad there were cockroaches in the bathroom and the shower tile grout was black.

Might this sort of stuff help?

VanitasVanitatum Tue 06-Jan-15 13:10:52

Can you talk to the brother getting married? More appropriate for him to pay extra costs than you and dh.

I would write out a schedule of each leg - mode of transport and the length of time in/on said mode, so that she is faced with the realities. Maybe you could take her over and leave her, and someone else could bring her back a couple of days later if needed, sharing the load?

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 13:20:10

Just set out the reality, and let her decide.
Even though it sounds like a PITA to take her, do I understand correctly that it is her son's wedding?
If so...
You won't like this, but I think there's a family obligation to take her along with you. Possibly even to pay some of it - IF you can afford to and she can't!
I suspect you've used up your good will and then some on stuff for her that wasn't so important.
But I think a child's wedding is. Even if a second! A fifth, not so much.

Walkacrossthesand Tue 06-Jan-15 13:21:58

Sounds like you need to keep very clear and focussed about this. There are 3 aspects - desire, feasibility and cost. Her desire to go is a 'given' but is only one aspect. Feasibility and cost are inter-related (problems can often be solved by throwing enough money at them) but this must be her money. There's a world of difference between her sons clubbing together to fund a standard flight so DM can attend a wedding, and underwriting huge bills for extra support and arrangements for a trip that you all strongly suspect she won't enjoy.
Is she of totally sound mind, if you don't mind me asking?

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