Old wife’s kids vs. new wife’s own family
The story [my husband] tells is of a ghost horse that was prized by braves riding into battle because the pony, already being dead, could not be shot from under them. […]
The Horse-child asks, “Why doesn’t the ghost warrior go to heaven, then?”
My daughter says, “Because ghosts have unfinished business. Everybody knows that.”
My son asks, “Did Mom leave unfinished business?”
My husband tells them, “A mom’s work is never done.”
A health issue can be hard on a family. And it breaks my heart to hear them talk like I no longer exist. If I’m so dead, where’s my grave, why isn’t there an urn full of ashes on the mantel? No, this is just a sign that I’ve drifted too far from my family, that I need to pull my act together. If I want them to stop treating me like a ghost, I need to stop acting like one.
Interesting fact: In the TV movies, a ghost mom’s job is to help her husband find a suitable replacement. […] The TV ghost mom can see through the gold diggers and wicked stepmoms to find that heart-of-gold gal who can help those kiddos heal, who will clap at the piano recitals, provide much-needed cupcake pick-me-ups and say things like “Your mom would be proud.”
I assure you that no such confectionary female exists. No new wife cares about the old wife’s kids. They’re just an unavoidable complication to the new wife’s own family-to-be. That’s what vasectomy reversals and Swiss boarding schools are for. If I were a ghost mom, my job would be to stab these rivals in the eyes, to dagger them all. Dagger, dagger, dagger.
Adam Johnson - Fortune smiles, stories (Random House-2015)