Families!! You either love ’em or you hate ’em’! In my case both. Those of you who have been following my blog will know of the problems I have regarding my family and for those of you that haven’t, here’s a taster!
My sister is visiting from abroad for three weeks. We get on really well and I will really miss her when she goes back. Because both my children T and C want to have virtually nil to do with me and are depriving me of seeing my grandchildren, my sister, ‘B’ decided to organize a family reunion. When she told me she had arranged for both my children plus spouses, all three granddaughters, myself and her all to meet up and go out out for a meal together, I was absolutely gobsmacked!! I couldn’t imagine it. (I haven’t seen T and C in the same room together for 20 years!) I couldn’t imagine it….all of us, nine in total, seated round a bench table and actually talking to each other, playing ‘happy families’. Me and B went in a taxi, me in my wheelchair, of course. We arrived first and as usual, my offspring were suitably and predictably late. The greetings were so brief as to be almost non-existent. So there we were, all sat round a table which felt very odd, if not a little uncomfortable.
(photo credit: dogclipart.com)
My family were all very happily chatting amongst themselves and eating good food, and me and B were left talking to each other. My kids are so rude sometimes! I felt hurt that they didn’t even bother to introduce me to my grandchildren. ‘Happy Families’ continued till the end of the meal (good food at least). Then, little S, who is now one-and-a-half (my son’s little one), was allowed to get out of her highchair to have a look around and play in the open area nearby. She was dressed in a white, flared dress and looked like a cross between a bridesmaid and a little princess. She ran straight past me, not recognizing me, of course, not having met me before. I was this strange woman in a wheelchair at the end of the long table, her having been at the other end so there had been no smiles and eye-contact etc.
I looked at this beautiful little girl, running about and giggling and felt nothing but pain. This was the granddaughter I’d never met and here she was, in flesh and blood, running back and forth passing me without even a glance. I felt so, so hurt. My son hadn’t even made any attempt to bring her over to me to tell her that I was, in fact, her Nanny. I tried to catch her attention but she was too wrapped in running about and playing with my daughter’s children who are 8 and 5 now who were too occupied with little S, that they totally ignored me. They were strangers to me and that really hurts. As for T and C and their spouses, they more or less acted as if I was invisible.
The meal ended. S was sat on the floor, absorbed in looking at a book. She looked so sweet any yet I was a no-one to her. I longed to scoop her up in my arms and hug her close to me, telling her that I was her Nanny and that I loved her very much but I wasn’t able to.
After that, T and C and respective families, headed for the exit having said a brief goodbye and they were off somewhere else. That left me and my sister. I looked at the deserted table, still littered with crockery and leftover food, and then burst into tears. What had been the point of this so-called ‘family reunion’ ? I was none the wiser and could have been invisible for all the notice they took of me!
So how do I feel now? Well, to be honest, I feel crap, shit, hurt, disappointed, resentful, angry and mostly devastated that my children could make me feel this way (mind you, not for the first time and I daresay not the last either). That’s my ‘family’ for you in a nutshell.