October 12, 2001

Why Does There Always Have to be a Drama?

Survey results will be slightly delayed due to shit happening.
Thank you to everyone who sent theirs in.. I will be revealing to the world how people decorate their computer screens, only in another day or two.
SO if you haven't weighed in yet, you still have time...

About the aforementioned "shit"...
The houseguests returned a few days ago; my sister in law had taken a sudden turn for the worse and died last Sunday.
(I dislike euphemisms like passed away; I use them socially but only with a slight cringe inside. Do they really make the reality more palatable?)

I honestly don't feel much for my husband's sister, other than pity at wasted potential. Any affection I might have had for her disappeared years ago. To me it's as if a distant acquaintance had died.
I don't know what my husband feels.
My sons haven't said much but they haven't had a relationship with her since they were in early elementary school.
My nephew, her son, is upset, of course. He's now parentless at 38.
Parentless but not without role models.. he has the world's greatest inlaws. I used to occasionally wonder if he didn't marry his wife more for her parents than for herself. But I guess if he had, they wouldn't have lasted the eleven years that they've been married.
And of course he has me...

So they've been camping out here all week, including the three year old, who is finally getting on everyone's nerves, not just mine. That's now over; she and her mother have departed for home, leaving Nephew to remain here for at least another week. That's fine - he's like another son or kid brother to me - he's probably the only member of Hubby's family approaching NORMAL.

We don't know how he turned out that way.

The funeral was yesterday. I went through the motions of being a family member but I felt next to nothing, beyond sympathy for those who did mourn.
And people did mourn.
Nobody had been untouched by this woman's foul temper and selfish outlook; at one time or another she had alienated absolutely ALL of her relatives, including grandchildren who are still children, playing one off against the other. But these same grandchildren were crying, as were her sons, and even the brothers that she had written out of her life.

Perhaps some of it (in some cases) was for show; some of it was the emotion of the moment. It was still more than I had expected to see.
Maybe that too was for what might have been.

And through it all, Hubby remains the same.
Mark intended to return to the Shiva* house after work last night (around 8:30 PM); he told me as much.
I got a semi-hysterical call from him via cell phone around that time; he thought he was lost because the house was locked up and dark and he's not familiar with the area.
The mystery was solved a few moments later when Hubby and Nephew walked in the door.
Hubby claims Mark was supposed to have called first; Nephew claims he suggested Hubby call Mark before they left.

Hubby has some strange aversion to using the phone.
He needn't have used his dreaded cell phone (which he didn't have with him anyway) but the normal, regular, old fashioned house phone.

In fact I'm reminded of the time when he was out shopping with Rob and they were running late; Rob wanted to call me (this was before they had cell phones) and Hubby told him NOT to.
Far from apologizing for this type of behaviour, which tends to recur from time to time, he has the nerve to try to justify it.

Anyway, Mark was directed to the inlaws' nearby hotel room, which he found with moderate difficulty; Nephew was returning there anyway and eventually brought Mark home.
I would have gone for him (it's about a half hour drive) otherwise; Hubby of course refused.
Yes he had a rough day; but so did Nephew.

At least when Nephew hears the news about the separation, he'll have a better concept of why it's happening, having lived here for some weeks (on and off) now.

* Shiva:
From this article:

After the burial, it is customary for the family to sit Shiva (in mourning). This was traditionally done for seven days...
Traditional Jews cover all mirrors during this time and sit on Shiva benches...
It is customary for friends and family of the deceased as well as friends of the deceased's relatives to pay a Shiva call to the designated location where people are sitting Shiva, usually at the home of a close family member.

Jews do not send flowers, but when paying a Shiva call it is appropriate to bring food, because the person mourning is not supposed to worry about such mundane matters.
Being surrounded by family and close friends often helps mourners cope with the immediate loss. Often, family members find great solace from sharing memories of the deceased during the Shiva period.

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