No - it's not what you think. My daughter-in-law is very much alive. I'm really sorry about your husband and I am sure life has been very hard for you.
My son's wife chose to leave and in doing so she immediately and voluntarily wrote out her own separation agreement giving him full custody of the children. That kind of thing goes against the grain with me. We did not want her to take the kids as she's obviously not a great Mom but she is still their Mom. We could understand her going for 50/50 but she didn't even ask for that. Our son took the kids out camping for 4 days. Not once in that time did she even phone the kids and ask them if they were having fun. Even on their daughter's birthday while our son had the kids out camping again, (she was still living in the house with all of them until last Wed.)she was asked to bring a birthday cake out. Son told her they were all down on the beach (him and the kids and my other son and his family). They thought she would let them know she was there and they would all go up to the trailers and open presents and sing HB and eat cake. When she didn't seem to be arriving my son went to the trailer to get his cell. She had been there and dropped off the cake. Nice Mom that couldn't even hang around long enough to celebrate her daughter's 9th birthday. To give her her due, she did have her own private celebration with her but it did not involve a cake and gifts you open. It's all a mess right now anyway. Our son is upset because she is gone so he is taking it out on all of us. Times are difficult right now.
As for the gifts, they are getting to the age where for the boys in particular, the gift cert. are a blessing so I don't have to do exchanges and then end up spending way more than I planned. The girls are easy enough but I wanted to be fair so I bought all the same. I'll check them out this year and see how it "feels" before I do either. Thanks for thinking of us.
Thankyou Charcoal. That's really nice of you to say and I certainly wish the same for you. My oldest son is beyond the stage where he should be "fighting" with me (he's 41)but he's building his own house right now and is under a lot of pressure that he would not normally be. He carried a situation a tad too far and then didn't quite know how to bow out gracefully. Anyway, it's over now and that's all that matters. I hope you can settle things with your son too.