Honestly, I'm trying very hard to be optimistic about Easter, but my plans right now include sitting outside, away from my family, with a bottle of wine.
I've been living back at my parents' house for about three weeks now and my sister has been here at least twice but we have not said hello. The first time she was here I was having a mental breakdown (I have since adjusted). The second time was today and I was in the kitchen, but couldn't turn around and get out. This is a problem when you're in a wheelchair, the refrigerator door is open and the kitchen is smaller than an average bedroom. Needless to say, I am wary about my sister's behavior and having to spend an afternoon with her – especially since the last time I saw her was for her birthday in January and she started bringing up stuff that happened in our childhood, trying to make me seem like some kind of villain.
There is, however, going to be pork barbecue and my mom's potato salad. We stopped having the traditional Easter meal many years ago. For about five years we've been having brunch, but things are different this year – for reasons I don't know. In the past my sisters have wanted to celebrate Easter here early enough to go celebrate with their in-laws for dinner. This year we are supposed to eat around 3pm, which is solidly centered in the middle of the day. We also have to factor in the time that it will take for the kids to have their Easter egg hunt.
The egg hunt should be fun. Michael and Izzy have been hiding the eggs around the house for at least a week (since my mom pulled them out of the attic) – if you count sitting the egg under the table as hiding it.
Jeremy's sister is going to be joining us because Jeremy's family is scattered for Easter. For being uber-Christian it seems like they don't celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with much fanfare.
I am betting money that my grandmother does not come out of her room to join the rest of us. She couldn't be bothered to come out to celebrate Cathy's birthday, and I don't see why Easter should be any different. It's sad how she has cut herself off from the family, and then pissed off all her grand daughters so much that now we just shrug our shoulders. Cathy hasn't bothered with Bushie in at least a decade – something about Bushie snubbing Cathy's husband. Well, at least Bushie didn't suggest that she would call the cops on Cathy's husband, like she suggested with mine.
Being back home has been really great, except for that last incident. But that prompted my mother to allow Jeremy to drive the van – an unheard of honor. Jeremy and I attended his grandfather's 80th birthday dinner with 18 of Jeremy's family members. And not one fight broke out :) But I realize that Jeremy's family gets along so well because no one relies on anyone, or expects anything. I want to learn to be more like that, so I can be pleasantly surprised more often than let down and severely disappointed/hurt.
Is it weird that I think that it would be better for me if I were less attached to my family? Right now I feel quite attached to my mom, but I also fear that this will not last forever. I am trying to be more open about how I feel and keep an open dialog with her because I realize that has been a huge problem with us in the past. Which makes me wonder, am I not trying hard enough with the rest of my family (ie my sisters) or should I just leave them alone and not complicate their lives?
It seems that I never know where I stand with my family until there's some big explosion. The rest of the time I'm walking on eggshells, not wanting to cross lines that are tentative at best. It's confusing, and I don't know what to do – or if I need to do anything at all.
But there's wine. And that helps.