It must be the holiday season, huh? Because somehow my ability to compartmentalize my family issues has gone by the wayside and it’s affecting me. Or maybe the gray weather is affecting me and the family stuff is no weirder than normal. I don’t know.
To summarize, my sister-in-law who has been married to my brother for 9 months but living apart from him for the last 3 just posted on Facebook that she got a job here in Boise. I guess that means she’s not planning on moving back to his home in Denver any time soon. A part of me wants to unfriend her and send her a hearty, “Fuck you” to just get it all over with, but the bigger part of me realizes that even if I knew the whole story, I can’t walk a mile in her shoes. Still, it’s hard to see that and know she’s not going home.
Grandpa Vox was supposed to join Junior and I at Lowe’s for the Build and Grow clinic today, and ended up at the wrong Lowe’s. Once we figured out via cell that he was at the wrong one, I couldn’t manage to help him understand how to get to the one we were at. His dementia had him so frustrated at that point that it was like everything became overwhelming. He ended up stopping at every Lowe’s in the valley except the one we were at. I got him to meet us at my house, and he stayed for 10 minutes and went home. Obviously, he needs to give up driving. This is just one more sign.
And then there are my other two brothers, both of whom live in Boise. I haven’t seen the youngest since shortly before last Christmas. He has never really bothered to connect with anyone else in the family, and it is so weird to me that I don’t know how he is. He doesn’t reply to my e-mails unless I have an opportunity for him to sell something to my friends or my work. Seriously. And then my eldest brother–we’ve been estranged ever since I encouraged him to find a counselor to help him through his divorce to Wife #4. He didn’t take it well, despite the fact that I said it as tenderly as possible. He thought I wasn’t giving him enough support, and it appears to bug him intensely that she and I are still Facebook friends. The last time I reached out to him was almost exactly a year ago, to let him know that he was invited to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. He replied that time; I haven’t had a reply from either my Facebook invite or the one sent to the last e-mail I had from him. In the same vein, my little brother hasn’t responded to the text or e-mail I sent him, inviting he and his wife over.
I’m just so frustrated about it all. As I told some of my girlfriends, I know the “normal family” is a myth, but god, I know some of you out there are either enthusiastic to be seeing parts of your family next week for Thanksgiving, and I really wish that I was having some of that same positive feeling. But my dad is going to his former fiancee’s house to join her family, and the rest of my family is scattered almost literally to the winds.
I have wonderful, amazing friends that I am very thankful for, and I wish that we all could be together and enjoy the holidays with one another. I wish I could just learn to accept how my family is and detach from the desire to have the nice, gray-haired parents who still love each other and cook big family meals, and that my brothers and their children were all going to be out in the back yard playing football together, and that my sisters and I would be helping in the kitchen and talking to each other about familiar things and old times.