DH and I live in City A
Cousin lives in City B about 15 miles away from us.
Auntie lives in City C about 39 miles away but due to the freeway insanity it averages 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get there.
SIL 1 and DN live out of state
Other pertinent facts: Cousin is in Auntie's neighborhood on a monthly basis and always stops to see her. Auntie is wonderful, and everyone's favorite Auntie. SIL1 and DN have not had an opportunity to see Auntie for several years. We were in the middle of having the floors in our downstairs replaced. The kitchen was done, 1/3 of the family room was done, 1/3 was prepped for the new tile and 1/3 still had carpet. We'd been under construction with various upgrades to the kitchen and bath for weeks and we're really feeling the stress of living in a construction zone.
Here's the story: SIL 2 (DH & SIL 1's sister) who lived about an hour away from us died unexpectedly. SIL 1 and her daughter DN fly into town for the funeral week and are staying at our house. SIL 2's only child lives about 85 miles up the pike in a different direction from her mom's. Her mom had not told her how ill she was so the poor kid was caught totally off guard by her mom's sudden death. Burial was to be at the same cemetery where other family members are buried. This cemetery is very near our home.
There were a lot of problems and issues that developed with planning the funeral. (Material for another thread, which I'll get around to one day.) We (mostly me) were doing our best to help Niece get arrangements made, notify the appropriate people, make airport runs for the out of towners etc. We also agreed to have lunch for the family and friends after the services. The family room was in disarray with the floor situation, but the kitchen was clean and functioning and the back yard was beautiful with the fruit trees in bloom and all the spring bulbs flowering so it would work out ok. After all, it was family and friends, nobody needed to be impressed and if they didn't like it, too bad.
So we make it through the wake/visitation, funeral and burial and the lunch for 40something people. As I am packing up leftovers, trying to make a food package for niece to take so she won't have to do a lot of cooking for a couple of days, putting things away and so forth Cousin comes in the kitchen and starts in on how she heard we might go to see Auntie. (Auntie was so sorry that she couldn't come up for the funeral but she's 85 and has some health issues that keep her pretty close to home.) If we're going to see Auntie she wants to go too. She had a whole scenario worked out in her head that required quite a bit of hassle on our part so that she could muscle in on SIL and DN's visit to the aunt they had not seen in years.
Now, due to Auntie's health, it was not even certain that she would be up to having a bunch of people pile in on her, so it was a "maybe" that we'd even go and solely based on how Auntie was feeling during the next couple of days. I told cousin all of this and that I was just trying to get through one event at a time, so until we were alone after all of the lunch guests departed I couldn't think about anything but finishing up the work at hand. She pushed me to decide about it right then. I re-stated that I just could not handle any more at that moment. We would check with Auntie and see how she was doing and then decide if and when we'd take SIL and DN to see her. Again she started in on how she wanted to go, she'd like to make plans, on and on, and on. She wouldn't let it go. Finally I almost lost it, but in a soft voice I told her that I didn't know that we'd actually go until I spoke with Auntie and if she had to have an answer right then the answer was NO! She looked very taken-aback, sniffed, sighed her martyred sigh and walked outside. She felt I had been rude and meeeean to her.
I don't know if it was deliberate or not, but she extracted some revenge by calling our house at 3:30 the next morning to invite SIL1 to spend the night at her home after we all went to see Auntie. When DH growled his hello into the phone at that ghastly hour she was surprised that anyone answered since she "thought it would go directly to voice mail." She was up late and just had this *great idea* that would allow her to have a visit with SIL1 and give us a break after such a stressful week. She woke up the entire house. Calls that come in the dead of night are not normally good news. DH handled that one. I would surely have been much nastier to her than he was.
As it turned out the logistics of getting DN to the airport in time for her morning flight did not allow us to pick up Cousin, so SIL1 had a nice visit with Auntie. We did stop at Cousin's on the way home where she treated us to a lovely afternoon tea. She was still soooooo disappointed that she didn't get to go to Auntie's with us.