So my Granny finally crossed over and the family was summoned. Everyone behaved and it was good. My Uncle Jack and Aunt Vera did a good job with the arrangements. They are the fixers and doers of the family; they take care of the elderly until they shuffle off this mortal coil. I’ve realised that they are also MUCH nicer to me than my immediate family. They don’t judge me and they are always warm and welcoming to me. Aunt Vera told me to “take anything you want” from my Gran’s home and I really appreciate that.
I got a couple of skillets, some trinkets, an occasional table, some books and the thing that I love the most: her iced tea pitcher. Crazy, I know, but it just resonated with me SO much. I remember that pitcher on the counter with tea bag tags hanging out of the spout when I was a kid. It’s magical! :) I’ve also got on hold an old 70s stereo in a cabinet, a curio cabinet and my Gran’s sewing machine that I watched her sew many a thing on.
My mother actually gave me the old wedding set from the 40s-50s that I’ve loved forever. She was even gonna give me the newer set from the 60s or 70s, but I insisted she keep that one. Yes I WAS NICE.
I was nice to her even after she picked a fight at my Gran’s and looked me straight in the eye and said:
“I don’t give a shit what you do. I don’t give a shit about your life at all.”
And then she accused me of selling the stuff I got from Gran’s on eBay. WTF? She said:
“Well, you can’t have anything if you’re going to sell it on eBay!”
Yup, that’s my sweet mother. Geeze. If anyone out there wonders why I am strident and headstrong and bitchy, well, there ya go. This is the mother I grew up with and this is why I want nothing to do with family. (After the yelling, she finally apologized for being such an asshole and we’ve reached a period of détente. I still don’t like her.)
Which brings me back to my Aunt and Uncle. I’ve been taught by my crazed family that they are the weird ones and they should be avoided. So, I’ve avoided. I’ve come to realise that my fucked up parents suffer from the worst sort of envy towards my Aunt and Uncle. My parents absolutely cannot STAND that “the other side of the family” has a normal, calm, respectable life and everyone attended college. No depression, no alcoholism, no fighting, just normal people who take the word “family” very seriously. When I was there last time, I suddenly realised that my Aunt and Uncle (and all the rest of “that side”) accept me for who I am – tatts and all – and really have no issues with me or my life. All they care about is that I’m family and therefore should be accepted.
What a concept! I’ve always had this feeling with my friends, but never with family of any sort. Nick’s family accepts me (more or less) but they are not my family.
I guess with age does come wisdom. Heh.
I will be posting my Uncle’s eulogy and my Granny’s handwritten instructions on a separate page (the pages are listed as Individual Pages).