Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To Those Who Have Gone Before Us.

On Thursday (April 22) it will have been one year since R passed away, and on Sunday it will be one year since I was told of her passing. I miss R. She left my life about a year and a half before she actually died, but I always thought there was time to try and reconcile. There was...the year and a half that we did not speak before she died.

We met in recovery, and I think because of that, I think there were things on both sides that were tolerated, that would not have been borne had we not been in recovery together. Funny how that is.

I am feeling a need to share some of the things that hurt me. Perhaps so I can let them go forever. One of the rifts in our friendship occurred in the months leading up to my wedding. I had asked my friend, J, to be my Matron of Honor. It was a difficult decision to chose between J and R for this role since they were both my best friends, and what it boiled down to for me, was I had known J longer than I had known R. I did ask R to be one of my attendants; I also asked my sister-in-law to stand up in our wedding. My mom made not only my gown, but she also made the bridesmaid dresses.

Behind the scenes, and apparently behind my back, R (at least from my limited viewpoint) harbored a resentment about my asking J. This all blew up in my face about a week before the wedding when she got really upset with me (about what, I can't remember). I remember quite clearly her saying, "You know, J, your wedding is not all about you!" Yep, I am still scratching my head about that one. At that point, right or wrong (probably wrong, in retrospect), I told her that if she could not be supportive of me getting married, that she need not come to the wedding at all. We did not speak to each other for about a year after that. And I never truly trusted her again.

Almost three years ago, my parents and my son were planning to come out here to visit. This visit was to coincide with K's (my daughter's) birthday. R invited herself along for the trip, I could see this was going to be a trainwreck, but other than tell her not to come, there was not a whole lot I could have done to avoid major derailment. I can handle the dysfunction of my own family. I can handle R's dysfunction, but I cannot handle the two of them simultaneously. And that is exactly what happened.

During that visit, R, my parents, my son, my daughter, and I went on a road trip for a few days to the Grand Canyon. I had never seen the Grand Canyon, and since it is a day's drive from OC, we decided to make the trip. No biggie, except for the fact that road trips with my parents can be a psychological adventure. My dad uses no courtesy when he drives, my mom gets angry with him, my dad gets defensive...etc. In other words, things get fiery.

In true F Family road trip form, things got fiery. And R totally wigged out about it. Wigged out to the point of screaming at me, in front of K, about how I am more evil than my dad, and that K is a brat. At that point (two days into the week) I was done. I shut down, and just pretended everything was fine until after they left. My mom knew something was up but knew me well enough to know that I would tell her what was up when I felt comfortable (which was over the phone after they got home).

Later in the week, we were getting ready for K's birthday party. We had planned to commandeer some picnic tables in the park, invited some of K's friends, and had ordered pizzas, a cake, and picked up a fruit plate for the party. We have a side by side refrigerator, so the refrigerator side is tall and a bit on the narrow side. R was going on and on about how we need to refrigerate the cake (when there was no room in the fridge to do so), and my mom, my husband, and I told her that the cake would be fine without being cold. After all, the bulk of the "audience" was 6 year old children, who quite frankly would not know a hot cake from a cold one.

Throughout the week, she tried to dominate the kitchen, which annoyed my husband greatly. Every time we were in there, she had to get in the middle of everything. "Oh, are you sure you want to do it THAT way?" etc. On K's actual birthday, we let K choose the menu. She chose macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, and dinosaur (chicken) nuggets. Well, R decided that we had to have a salad, and she took the strainer I was planning on using to drain the noodles in, and put her salad greens in it and plopped it into the fridge. No big deal, really, I put her greens into a different bowl, and rinsed out the strainer, so I could strain the noodles. Well, you would have thought I had stomped a kitten to death. She got very passive aggressive about it.

The day before they were going to leave, she decided she wanted me to bring her to Costco so she could get her pictures developed. I told her that I was not sure whether Costco did the one hour processing (at the time I did not know). I did not tell her that, quite frankly, it is kind of a hassle (on a weekend day no less) to walk almost all the way through Costco just to get to the photo lab. I offered to take her to CVS to get the film developed, since I could be assured that the photos would be ready before they left the next day. She got really snippy and said, "Never mind, I will develop them at home." She had taken a lot of photos of S (my son), K, and I. Photos that no one else had taken. She had stated she wanted to get double prints so I could have a set. As far as I know, she never got that film developed. And there were photos I would have loved to see. And pardon the language, but it fucking hurts.

As flawed as I am as a human being, I never called her any names, either to her face, or behind her back. She not only called me names, she called my daughter names. And she did this during a period in which she was a guest in my home. And I let her. But yet I miss her. How fucked up is that?

1 comment:

Nikki said...

It's not. You loved her, and we tolerate lots of things from loved ones that we wouldn't from anyone else. And you did the best you could by her while she was alive.