First, my apologies to my readers and mostly to the one who started me on this challenge – lostnfoundlove – for dropping the ball on this wonderful challenge to the point that I’ve unknowingly distinguished it in my own ‘self-pity’. To her, and you, I am sorry and hope to pick up the pieces and continue. However, with the circumstances of the last few days – truthfully, I have found myself so angry that I find it hard to find anything so loving about myself at present.
When I shared this with my sisters, my one sister – the middle sister – piped up and said “hey, you defended your sister, that should say volumes”, and to that I guess I should start on this my 27th day.
To backtrack; Christmas time, as with most families, has always been a wonderful time, a time where family gets together and for our family it always was. Our brother and his two children would come up here on his year. He is divorced and, according to the custody agreement, had his kids every other year for the holiday. So, every other year he and his daughter and son would come up and stay at their aunt Kimball’s house. Joining them would be their aunt Elizabeth and myself and my then husband. It was always a wonderful time, especially while they were little; nothing like a child’s spin on Christmas. Also too, as none of us sisters had children, it turned into a wonderful time to spoil them with gifts and teach them the traditions of when we were young.
As they grew up, we continued the tradition. However, life got harder for those two little ones and the stresses of their lives always was a source of worry for us aunts, but none the more than for Kim, the eldest of the sisters. She had always hoped that our niece and nephew would have the things they needed, that they would be in one place long enough to be able to establish long time friends. She was unable to understand their lives, it seemed so foreign to her, as it did to all of us – moving from place to place – sometimes after eviction. It was so hard because there were two parents who both had the means to make life much easier for their two children. But neither of whom were able – or willing – to do the tough stuff. Instead, it seemed so much harder for our brother and his ex to rear them and set boundaries. Whatever our little niece or nephew wanted they seemed to only look twice at it and it was their’s – even if the rent hadn’t been paid. My question was and had always been what about NO? A two letter word I’m not so sure was said too much in the Merrill household.
Now those two youngsters are adults, our niece is 21, our nephew is 20. And the wonderful Christmas that we all looked forward to tarnished as it became ever so much clearer that the trek north was more for the gifts – money, gift cards – that would be received than for the reunion and sharing time together. The morning after they arrived it was dropped like a bombshell that our nieces boyfriend would be coming for Christmas dinner. Now, to be clear, this isn’t like we live around the corner. We live five hundred miles away from them. So, it isn’t outlandish to think that a phone call would be made ahead of time asking if bringing a guest would be ok. But, in true fashion, instead of apologies, excuses were made. Instead of discussions and solutions, only blame and finger-pointing. What a MESS!
My sister chose to be a bit cold – ok… I would have to agree that this isn’t the way our mother brought us up to greet a guest – regardless the circumstance. Then there were the actions of our niece. The next day, Christmas Day, she chose to drop the bomb that her boyfriend, because he didn’t feel welcome the night before – the night before we expected him, will not be attending dinner after all and that this was all Aunt Kimball’s fault. Our niece then proceeded to pout all through dinner, reluctantly helped with dishes; then Boyfriend came by in a cyclone fashion to whisk her out of the hellish home filled with evil, where she undoubtedly needed to be rescued. She then came back the next morning, grabbed her bag, no words were spoken to any of her aunts, walked down the stairs, out the door and into the car to await her family.
By this time I had had enough of the charade, her mother said a few words of thanks and off she went out to wait with her poor daughter in the car (boy the drama, I can’t stand it…). By this time, my sister is in tears, my other sister is not sure what to do. Now, picture this, my sister Kim has placed all her hard-earned money into this weekend for their pleasure. Of which they have done nothing to spend a day, evening with her. She is recovering from heart surgery, cancer and is still in recovery. They are ALL about them apparently.
So, I march myself out to the car. Open the door. My niece, looking straight ahead, I asked “what’s going on here?” Still looking away, “Look at me!” I demanded. She obliged and I continued, “Your aunt is in there crying her eyes out”, I continued. “How long is this going to take? Everything your aunt have ever done has been with you in mind and for your betterment and this is how you treat her?”
Anyway, doesn’t really matter what all was said, point is I said it and probably said too much. I ended it with telling her that I loved her, just didn’t like her right now and shut the car door. What I don’t understand is my brother and their mother. How they can be so complacent in all of this. Clearly there is a right way and a wrong way of going about all of this. I’m not going to say that what my sister did was right, she was upset and I feel does owe our niece an apology. However, a discussion must be made between the two of them. And our niece must understand that if you wish to be an adult, being an adult means sometimes doing the tough stuff like seeming to always have to be the first to say “I’m sorry”.
Anyway, I defended my sister just like I would with anyone actually. I just can’t sit back when I see a wrong or when I see someone is hurting as a result of someone else’ mistreatment or silent treatment.