How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

Greetings and salutations to all who deem this worthy of your time...

Brought up Jul 22, 2012

My Family... Or A Stroll Through Tornado Alley.

We said goodbye to a dear cousin today. It was a short, to the point service, without a body. She requested that it be that way, with cremation and a Sunday memorial service. Her two daughters did what she asked. Unfortunately, the church she attended is tiny. It was so packed, they added folding chairs down the middle, both outside walls, two alcoves in the back and a classroom to the left of the pulpit area. Guess where I ended up sitting? Yes, the classroom, along with another cousin, one of my cousin's great nieces, and about thirty others who had the bad judgement to show up 20 minutes early to find they should have come even earlier. One of her grandson's told me that they had tried to get the city hall, but it didn't work out. The town is tiny, and the 'city hall' is really the biggest place there. It is often used for large gatherings of town folk and traffic court once a month.

My cousin was a popular lady. She was actually the widow of my mom's first cousin, and had remarried a few years after he passed, only to be widowed again.She was still family to us all. She would have turned 75 this year. I saw her in May, and had no idea she was sick. She and my favorite aunt were 'real rounders' together in their younger years. When my aunt passed, it became a little difficult to see the cousin for a while. It brought back the pain of losing my aunt all over again.

The thing about my family is, we are a pack of folks who passionately display all our emotions quite freely. It has led to some nasty situations that have left scars throughout the family. Irish tempers abound, along with a little careless selfishness sprinkled about. Today was no exception. As usual, I reverted to my old self, and ducked out rather than deal with it all. I'll find a way to talk to her daughters at another time. It's a long story, family dirty laundry, and this is not a very good place to air it. I wish I could, but, as usual, I worry about others' feelings, not my own. It sucks.

I hate the fact that I revert to a 12 year old around some of my family members. They just happen to know which buttons to push , whether deliberate or not. The problem is, they are so good at it, I think it's a reflex now. Rather than fall into the trap, and give one in particular the drama she craves, I left after the service instead of going to the family get together after.

I didn't want to come home right away, so I stopped, grabbed a salad, ate it there, and bitched to my husband on the phone. It was very unsatisfying as is this today.

I will miss my cousin's gravelly voice, her bawdy sense of humor, her raucous laughter so like my aunt's that they could have been related by blood. Most of all, it all brought back a bit of the emptiness I have felt since my aunt died. Just over 14 years, and today I miss her as much as I did the day she died. I just wish some of my family could think more of others and less of themselves at times like this. No, I didn't take the bait and tell her off, but man, was it a close one. I didn't even get to talk to my mom, and I could have used that today. So I sit here alone, wishing I were anywhere but here, and anyone but me, just because one person wanted to cause a scene, and I refused to give her one.

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