This week I learned a harsh and painful lesson. I learned that after 25 years my husband's children are not my family. They are his family, not mine. The lesson was taught to me when my uncle died. They did not see fit to offer condolences to me even though my husband told his sons that I was grieving. I posted the obituary on my wall in Facebook and those who are online almost all the time didn't see it. They did not show up to pay respects at the funeral home to me, and made no effort to see if I needed anything. I had all the tissues I needed, could have used a hug though.
One of them told me she didn't know because she wasn't online as much as she used to be and missed my posts. She was the only one that said how sorry she was and apologized. She saw my short post about the wonderful people who came all the way from Binghamton to pay pay respects. You know, those OLD people who were his friends? They made a 3 hour round trip to send off a kind gentle man to his reward and to hug those of us that needed it. I needed it. I still need but there is no one there to offer it except my husband. Good enough I say, however, inside me where I hide, the pain is unbearable. It's going to take time. I may be standing mostly alone, but I have the strength to do so.
Yesterday I spent time breathing deeply and resisting the urge to start a fight. I did make a Facebook post stating how I felt and it was ignored. Floundering through my day questioning why this was happened, reminding myself I didn't do anything, and using box after box of tissues didn't provide any relief. It was a short post from my husband's youngest daughter-in-law that did.
They had picked up pizza and wings for supper and on the way home the sauce from the chicken wings spilled onto the back seat of "her" vehicle. Her baby as she called it. After years of her claims that this place makes the best pizza suddenly she won't be buying from them ever again because the grease spilled onto the back seat of her Kia Soul. The restaurant didn't tie the bag closed. The restaurant offered her $10 off their next order and this isn't good enough. She isn't saying what she wanted from them for their carelessness. Mind you, she saw the bag not tied closed, she could have done that herself before the restaurant ruined "her baby".
In my petty mood I saw this as karma and it made me laugh until the light pierced through my dark cloud of grief. I do not need, nor want, people in my life for whom the things they own have more value than the people who love them.
I let my uncle down by believing "my family" needed me. I was unable to spend as much time with my uncle as I should have because of that belief. I can't fix that because he's dead. I can make better choices with my surviving uncle and his wife. I won't ever allow myself to believe my husband's children need me if it would keep me from spending time with the family that was there for me when I hurt.
I love them, I just don't need them anymore. I wish them well.