Monday, March 28, 2016

Not this month, either, I guess.

I use an app to write myself notes and to send me reminders to do things.

One of the reminders I have scheduled tells me to send a "Hey, how you doing? I'm fine," email to my siblings. This reminder pings me once a month.
I set it up sometime after Mom died when I sadly realized that most of what I knew about my siblings' comings and goings I knew because Mom had told me about them. I didn't actually talk to my siblings myself for years because Mom always kept me up to date. This wasn't a bad thing; it was just a thing that had evolved.
After Mom died, I heard from no one at all.
To be fair, no one heard from me, either.
So, I decided I'd make the effort.  I would start the conversation.  I'd send a family update once a month and call my dad once a month too because he didn't have email.  And it worked fine for a good long time.

Sometime in the fall of 2014, Dad had health issues, and it seemed weird to send a "Hey, how you doing? I'm fine" email in the middle of everyone worrying about Dad.  So I skipped that month.
But Dad had complications, and that one month turned into two, then three.  I still called my dad every month, but each month seemed to bring a new issue that made it awkward to send a "Hey, how you doing?" to everyone else.
There just always seemed to be something that would come up.

Then Dad died.
And siblings got stupid.
But for the first time ever there were more texts and emails and phone calls than I'd ever wanted.
And I wished they'd STOP emailing and calling and texting me.

When things would quiet down and I'd just start to think the worst was over, something new and completely unexpected would come up again.

I haven't sent a "Hey, how you doing?" since the fall of 2014.
Meanwhile, the monthly app reminders continue to ping.

Mom and Dad's house sold last month, and all of the contents of it have been claimed or sold. A week or two ago, the final steps toward settling the estate began.
It's been quiet.

The Husband and I have been planning to travel through Michigan for a nice long road trip, just the two of us. I hadn't wanted to plot a route through my family's hometown, but I know we should. I had told the Husband how the mere thought of being near it filled me with dread.
But since it had been quiet, I had started to think maybe it will be okay after all.


Around 4:30 today, my phone buzzed with an incoming text. Before I could read it, a second buzzed in.  Then a third.
By the time I got home at 5:30, the entire angry text conversation had flamed and died off.
I just sat and watched it happen. I didn't respond to any of it.

And I sit here tonight staring at my app reminder telling me it's time to email my siblings a "Hey, how you doing? I'm fine."

Not this month either, I guess.


Jessica P said...

If you don't want to, don't.
If going to your hometown fills you with dread, don't go.

You don't have to.

Interesting that you made all that effort and no one else bothered to reciprocate. I have had that exact same experience.

I gave up, let it go.
And that was a good choice.

Just because someone is blood family doesn't mean they care about you, let alone love you.


Roses said...

Thanks, Jessica.

I'd like to decide to not visit my hometown. However, my brothers are storing a pile of items from Mom and Dad's house that have been set aside for me.
While I cherish the memories these things represent, they are just things, and I don't need to collect them. But I do not want to burden my brothers with the storage, either. That would cause unrest eventually, and give them reasons to text or call or email to ask me when I'm going to get those things out of their houses.

Best to just pick up the stuff as soon as possible to relieve amy burden and have one less connection between us.

Jessica P said...

Yes sometimes that is the only thing to do.

I am always in awe of people who have good family connections. I don't understand it or relate to it, other than knowing many people have that experience.

Roses said...

Before Mom died, I thought we had a good family bond.

Turns out Mom had been the glue.

Roses said...

It is now Wednesday, and the texting continues. I have not participated in the exchange. They've probably forgotten I'm even included in it.