If you're not a long time reader, you may want to go back & read a couple post. This one of my husbands perhaps, or this one where you can read some fun hate mail from his family, or the one of mine about the final incident.
If not, the quick version is because of various problems, we cut off contact with my husbands family. Very limited interaction during my pregnancy with Joel, but after he died it was just over.
That was a long time ago. OK, not a long time ago, but long enough. OK, not long enough either. But, you get what I mean.
Adam's uncle died. Well, uncle by marriage & later divorce. He was a good guy who Adam obviously liked & cared about. And, for the first time since that nasty break up in August 2009, we had an issue. What now?
This was something I knew would happen eventually, at some point some sort of event will happen where we will want or need to attend. Adam felt like he couldn't do, & if he did how would he even go about it? Sneak in the back after something starts? Just go balls to the wall & walk into the middle of the wake?
I personally didn't have an opinion. Well, I did, but it was just this question that I posed to him, "if stuff with your family had never happened, what would you do?" We'd go without a second thought. I agreed that we should. And we did.
I told a couple people about this. Their general response was, "ugh." But really mine wasn't. I was in an eerie way not bothered by anything that could happen. I figured worse case sencerio, if someone said anything to me I would just say, "this is not the time or place" & walk away. I felt like I should feel nervous or something, afterall I've said some hardcore things about them. But I finally figured out why I didn't feel nervous or awkward about seeing them after saying things to & about them (I'm very aware that they read this, btw)...because I still feel right. I feel justified. Was I harsh? Yeah. Maybe a bit too harsh in some ways, but I honestly still stand by it all. And that's why I didn't feel anything, because I stood by it all.
We got dressed, we made our drive. I read a midwifery text book on the trip down. We did joke about what could happened. I told him if anyone punched me, I was totally going to call the cops. It was actually quite calm on the way down. At least for me. When we got to the funeral home, I felt weird about not feeling weird. We go in, see no one I recognize. As Adam signs our names to the visitation book, I scan the names to see if anyone I know has signed in. I see none. We stand around, looking for anyone we know for a minute, then we walk in. Adam is leading the ways & I then see his nephew. I try to let him know because that means his sister is there which means everyone else is there, too. But he didn't realize I was trying to get his attention & walked into the middle of his family.
I can't remember exactly how it went down, but I think his aunt hugged him then me. As I turned around to see what was going on, his mom popped up for a hug which surprised me. She asked how I was, I told her the truth...some days good, some days bad. After a minute I asked if she knew about Blair, to which she responded with a worried, "no." Turns out she DID know about him existing, but she assumed I was about to tell her something bad happened or something. I don't know. His dad came up & was nice. Everyone was nice. His sister was somewhat amusing because she stood beside me a good 10-15 minutes before finally saying hi. We exchanged pleasantries. We both looked like we, well, wanted to rip each others heads off. I think for a second each of us hoped the other would say or do something, but we both remembered it was a funeral & not to act like assholes.
We stayed about an hour, I'm not too sure really. Things were fine. I mainly talked to a family friend & an aunt, but I did make small talk with others. Very small, vague, small talk. We avoided the asshole uncle because, well, he's an asshole & there is not enough redemption possible for that man.
Then we left. And felt awkward. On our way out, Adam's mom hinted for his phone number. We changed cell providers a couple weeks after that August fall out. As we were walking toward the door, she asked if he'd got her message because she wasn't sure it was the right number or not. He told her he didn't, but other people emailed him & stuff. She then told him their number was the same as it was before. Like I said, I took that as a hint.
His dad is growing a strike beard. He had a full beard, to which Adam made some comment about why he must be growing it as a joke. I didn't hear it, but he told me later that his mom explained he was "growing it until his son came home." I'll be honest, I laughed when he told me that one. Sorry, but growing facial hair doesn't really do anything for us in this situation. It just makes you open to ZZ Top jokes.
And the end of the day, it was nice & it sucked all the same.
It was nice because they acted like family should act. His sister even told her son not to wrestle around at the wake, which made me feel good because I was always bothered that she allowed him to act like that at Joel's service. Maybe she learned better manners. Or maybe they didn't see Joel's service as something to be respected. Who knows, but I'll pretend it's the first one.
It'd be nice to have something positive happen, just to get the stress & continued sadness of having to have people cut out of our lives. Believe it or not, I never wanted that to happen. But it did after everything that was said or not said in some cases. And I know that no matter what, nothing would come of this. No one would be willing to talk anything about. No one would be willing to apologize for anything on their side, even if I do for my own. The term, "start fresh" would be used, which makes me want to throw up. And even if I was delusional enough to be able to deal with that plan, it'd be like every other time we've "started fresh" in the past...it'd be fine for a couple months, then someone would say something or do something & we'd back to square one.
If any good did come out of this, I do think I'm less angry now. I can think about all of the just cruel things that were said or done & actually not want to punch someone. I can even think of the bold face lies & blatant cruelty without getting angry now. I think those are very good things.
But even if I'm not angry, it doesn't mean I forget. And it doesn't mean I can ever forgive. And that makes me a little sad. I mean, I COULD. I really could. I could work through it with these people, it'd take time & effort but I could do it. But the truth is that they will never be willing to do their part. That's the sad part. After a certain amount of hurt & drama, you can't just start fresh. There is no foundation to start fresh on & anything you start building will simply crumble.
And at the end of the day, while it's sad for us & our own little nucular family to not have extended family, I think the other side is missing out on so much more.
Wouldn't you agree?