To start with the ending, Mom and Ralph came up to visit. Anytime I see family, it is good! They brought a piece of furniture for a friend of mine, and are picking up a pampered chef item Mom bought at that last party I went to.
The week got off on the wrong foot with the "loss" of the house. Not so much the house itself, but the hope that we would be in our own place for garden season. I showed up at O's on Friday, and learned that my closest co-worker had quit/ was fired. Got home, and discovered Mr C was upset over something, which had me crying myself to sleep.
I have been trying to put together a photo book for Tom's mom for her birthday, like I have done for both of my parents. I asked Tom's brother and three sisters for some pictures that I don't have access to. Two of the sisters were emailed, one I spoke to in person, and I followed up with handwritten letters to all three sisters. Yesterday I got an email from one of the sisters, informing me that the three of them had discussed my project among themselves, and decided that they didn't care to participate, citing that any pictures they could provide would be ones their Mom already had copies of. I had already been pushing their brother for pictures, every time he and Tom would talk on the phone for the last two or three weeks, I would just say "Pictures!" to remind him.
I have to say that my feelings are really hurt, more so than my project. Not one of the sisters actually discussed the project with ME... they discussed it among themselves. Yes, I do know that their mother probably already has copies of these pictures... buried in boxes and drawers and tattered little plastic albums. I thought it would be nice to include all of her children in a very nice BOOK... an actual book... along with photos of their children and grandchildren. As I tried to talk to Tom's brother to let him off the hook, he came on the phone already griping about having to look for pictures and what a stupid idea it was in the first place... I ended up screaming at him to "Shut up and listen to me for a change". (I hate it when I lose my composure so bad that I scream at someone, and I almost never tell anyone to "shut up". It is just rude, and I don't DO that. But I did.
Since I already prepaid my book, I will go ahead and make it with what pictures I have. It is sure to be rather biased towards Tom's kids and grandkids, since I happen to have more photos of them than I do of his siblings and their children.
As I laid in bed trying to sleep last night, I was really overcome with hurt. I feel dismissed by Tom's sisters. After almost 25 years as "part of the family"... I wonder if I have been merely tolerated and have just been too stupid to realize it. Tom's brother and I have been fairly close, and talk a couple of times a month. A couple of months ago, he suggested that I ought to "let" Tom come to Ohio for a visit without me.
I have never tried to stop him from going to visit his family without me.
Thinking back through the years, I realized that most of the occasions where Tom and his siblings have been able to all get together, it has been without me.
In the dark of night, with all the stress of everything that has happened lately, I wondered if that was by accident or design? You'd think that in 25 years, I would have been in the family get togethers more than the three or four non-funeral gatherings that have happened.
So I spent another night crying myself to sleep.
Just stepping back to take a look at Tom's family dynamics, and where I fit in. Maybe I am not as much a part of it as I had thought I was.
Thanks for reading!