• I swear to god my fiancee asked me the same exact question. She HATED her stepmom, never even looked at her, but then her brother got in an accident and my fiancee wanted to be sympathetic towards the situation. I suggested that since in a normal situation she couldnt stand to look at her stepmom, maybe now she should just give her a sympathetic eye and ask her how her brother is. Did you want to offer something "materialistic"? Cuz i got "Free Dinner With Lefty" coupons I could mail ya.
  • I totally agree with the first answer. Not to suggest that you maliciously take advantage of someone’s pain for your own nefarious purposes, but there truly is good in every situation, if you look hard enough. Perfect example: My mother-in-law’s extended family all live in the same little area of West Virginia and Ohio, all within 20 minutes of each other. Thus, whenever we go to visit her grandparents, we get the whole package deal. ;-) I didn’t used to get along with my wife’s uncle, but then one night while we were visiting, our car broke down on the side of the highway. This uncle came out in the cold night, tried to help us fix the problem, and when he couldn’t, made some calls and got a local mechanic to take care of it, first thing the next morning. While I don’t mean to imply that some fairly minor car trouble is anywhere near the severity of the situation you’re describing, the principle does apply. After years of muted animosity, that single act of service broke down all the barriers and we now get along just fine.

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