Family is Just Word

My mother came from a large family, she was the youngest of many siblings. Through the years one by one, she saw and learned of the death of her brothers and sisters. When she learned that her only living sibling has passed away, it was almost too much for her. She had a niece that started calling her about going to the wake and funeral, but my mom declined. Momma finally decided that she would go to the funeral chapel to view her sister and sit a while. The niece insisted that she would take her, but mom told her that she would have one of the kids take her which ended up being me. I took my mom to the funeral chapel where she walked slowly up to the casket. She raised her shoulders slightly took in a deep breath and gazed at her sister in the casket. In that moment, Momma wasn’t just looking at Aunt Betty, she was looking at her own parents, her brothers and sisters, she was looking at the memories of Locust Street where she grew up, she was looking at the history of a family that she would never see again on this side of Heaven. Momma stood there for the longest time. then she stepped forward, gave her a kiss and then she sat down in front of the casket on the front row of seats. Again, she just sat and stared and then she said that she was ready to go. We went home. Aunt Betty’s funeral was the next day. I attended the funeral along with some sisters and brothers. After the funeral I went straight home to be with momma. Some other siblings went to the dinner afterwards and I guess one of the conversation topics was that momma did not go to the funeral. The niece that kept calling her and telling her that she needed to go to funeral said at the dinner that my momma should have gone to the funeral and that she would have to live with the fact that she did not go to her own sister’s funeral. After that the niece and siblings did reach out to momma at all. Years went by with no calls, no happy birthdays, nothing. My mom would call that niece, but her calls went unreturned.

In 2014, Daddy fell and was hospitalized for over month. Momma was hospitalized during the same time. Their dual hospitalization was the most trying time of my life. I was working from 7-7, I would go to my parent’s house take a shower and then go straight to the hospital to watch my parents overnight. There were people who I guess were calling the house and leaving messages, but I never had time to check the messages. So the niece started telling others that I was ignoring her calls and that she had a right to know what was going on. A cousin died during this time and after her funeral, there were about 15 people that came in and sat in mom’s hospital room. I wasn’t happy about that at all. These are people who had abandoned Momma for years and now they want to show up and watch her be sick, when they were not part of helping her live. After they all left Momma became sick to her stomach. She said that it was good to see everyone but that it was just too much for her and that she would rather see everyone once she is better. With that. I told my sibling that we needed to restrict Momma’s visitors until she was better. This right here, was the tool that would be used against me for many years to come, even now. I immediately was accused of keeping nieces and nephews away from Momma. First, a hospital is a place to get well, it is not a place for family reunions. I had the right to restrict visitors for Momma until she was well, that was nothing for anyone to be mad about. After all they hadn’t been there and even after Momma was better and at home, they still did not come around. The dialogue continued though, that I would not allow people to come and see Momma and this simply was not true. It didn’t help that I had sibling who were also helping to carry on this misperception.

For years, I would run into cousins at the store and they would ask how Aunt Josie and Uncle Jimmie were doing and would tell them that they were fine but that they needed to call them sometime. none of them ever did – non e of them. Did I keep them from picking up the phone and calling them, no. Did I keep them from sending a birthday card or a Christmas card, no. Did I keep them from visiting, no. Did I keep them away from Momma all those years that they were mad at her for not going to Aunt Betty’s funeral, no. Time and time again I have been used as an excuse for what people did not want to do themselves. I am sick of it. You did not call Aunt Josie because you did not want to. You did not visit Aunt Josie because you did not want to. You did bother with Aunt Josie, because you did …not…want…to. Period. Leave me out of it. Instead these people have a taken one moment in time when I was trying to concentrate on getting Momma well and used that as way to soothe their conscience for the way the treated her. At one point in time, a niece who was named after Momma came to the house and I explained to her some of the concerns I had about what I knew was being said. She seemed to understand what I was saying and we even hugged before she left. I told her that she was welcomed to call or come by anytime, that was being said was not true. She never came by again. What more can I say or do, what more?

A 100th year birthday party was thrown for Daddy. It was the church’s idea and they took care of all the details. I was told again that there is talk of me not inviting people or that I am causing people to miss out on his party. It was advertised in the local newspaper, how is that keeping people away from Daddy? I know that this person saw the advertisement shared it with her siblings and still and yet, none of them showed up.

I have come to the conclusion that these people for whatever reason just want to have a problem with me. There is simply nothing that I can do about that. I don’t care at this point to do anything about it other than to write the truth of what happened. My momma was all about keeping the peace in her older years and out of respect for her I did for the most part keep my mouth shut about this but no more. People who spread lies and deceit, count on you to be quiet so that they are never challenged in their evil works. I am also a “call everybody in the room” kind of person too. The person who is causing the most division, and I know who those two people are, are counting on the fact that everyone is too mad at each other to ever get together to talk about what has been said. If everyone was to come into the room and talk about all this stuff, those two people would be exposed, but I also know that they would never do that. They know what that would cost them. That would cost them the carefully crafted facade that they have built.

Why is this in the Lesson By Moonlight blog? One of the most painful lessons that I learned is that family is sometimes only just a word. It means nothing when there is no love, respect or trust there and you have to be okay with that. Never in a million years did I think that I would have become such a target for people who can’t see they wrong that they have done. Maybe picking on me helps them too absolve the errors of their life, I don’t know, but God knows all of our stories, even this oneand I rest well in that.