I’m scheduled to go to San Diego tomorrow morning. Yesterday morning, everything seemed in check, by that night it was a different story. My aunt has pancreatic cancer and we’d been told that she was in intensive care, the situation was grave and hospice needed to be called. We’d just visited with her the day before, I can’t say she seemed great because she wasn’t.
Let me preface by saying right off, I’m going to sound like a jerk. When I heard the news, I was crying, reflecting on what she meant to me. I’ve visited with her a few times since her diagnosis (less than 3 months ago). So my mom asks if any there had been discussions about arrangements after her death. The answer was no and this wasn’t surprising. That was when my mother went into Mother Theresa mode. My mother by nature is a caretaker/nurturer. Her first instinct was that the trip needed to be canceled since we were being told she might pass away in the next 48 hours. My mother looked for me to suggest it. I didn’t.
She told me she couldn’t go. I told her I couldn’t give the airline money for my ticket although I later found out I could get credit. So my mother wrestled with it all night and all morning. She even told me she was going to call our pastor. I asked, “Why, you know you don’t feel comfortable going?” She told me she just wanted his response. I didn’t pack a damn thing last night. I just focused on wrapping up my end of the semester assignments for summer session.
She told this morning that the pastor told her she should go. She said that she was going to get a pedicure and proceed as if we might go. I told her I was going to work, even though I was originally scheduled to be off. I went into that office like I’d lost everything that was good in my life. Not angry, just sad.
Let me explain, my job is stressful. That’s all I can say as I’m paranoid that the two full-time employees who scour the net for employees’ blog will discover mine and use it against me. This trip was the only thing keeping me afloat and now I’m going to come in here for the rest of the damn week!
My mom calls, tells me my aunt is being moved from intensive care, she’s doing better. One of her sons thinks we should go on with our plans. I continue to stay on at work for a few hours and do some work on a project. Let me say that personal drama, helped me light some fires under individuals’ asses today. Answers that I’ve been trying to get for weeks, with the right email and with everyone and there grandma copied in, I was daring them not to respond. They realized what I was doing and sent me the documentation that I was looking for.
So now, I have to prepare for my trip and resolve my own personal issues with my cousins. Here’s my thing on family, I thought it was just because I’m adopted that I have issues with a few family members and it leads me to have real non-familylike feelings. I don’t respect people who don’t care or treat their parents the way I would and have done in the past. My cousins are doing what they should for their mom but there weren’t present for their dad’s illness. (Note: Their dad was my dad’s brother. Their mom was my mom’s friend and introduced my mom and dad.)
Family lines were blurred for me as a kid. I spent a lot of time with this aunt and her kids. They were significantly older, with the youngest being 10 years older than me but they felt like my big brothers. My dad was pretty involved and boasted about them like they were his sons. When he passed, one of them bothered not to come. Said he had an assignment to be the cameraman for Peter Jennings. Great assignment, don’t get me wrong, but that shit didn’t sit well with me.
I had an associate minister tell me that it’s nothing like funerals and weddings to bring the worst out of a family. If we were still close and I didn’t feel like we heard from them unless they needed something, it’d probably be a different thing.
And yes, if my mother would have said, “I can’t go.”, I would have respected her decision and stayed. But I would have stayed out of respect for my mom, definitely not my cousins.