Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Great Grandmother Visit of 2005

Well, the Great Grandmother Visit of 2005 is over, with a whimper and not a bang. She came, she slept, she left. In all honesty, I'm not sure why she even bothered to come at all. She didn't spend much time at my house. She literally got here at 10:30 pm, went to bed by midnight and was up and ready to go by 9 AM the next morning. I spent more time with my grandfather on the trip from my house to my mother's the next morning than I did with either of them at any time previously. The only good thing that came out of this little shindig was that I went to my mother's house twice in two days (we met my grandparents there, and took them back there the next morning) and spent time with her, my dad and my sister. I wasn't exactly sure that was going to go well until I got there. Actually, I wasn't sure it was going to go well until I left.

Dad was unresponsive for half the day, but that could be explained by him being really tired. He spends a lot of time on the road, after all. It could also be explained by him being pissed as hell at me. I don't know which one it was, and my relationship with dad is not one that is conducive to talking about it. Some things mom said indicated that he was less than thrilled for me to be there, and from one perspective, I can understand that. But, then again, he never bothered to get my side of the story in the whole blowup back in July, now did he? No, he didn't. And by this point, it wouldn't matter if he did. He's heard his wife's version, and his daughter's version. What's a son's version going to matter? His mind is made up, one way or the other, whether he believes it is or not.

My sister was a little less snippy than I had expected, though. I honestly didn't even know if she would speak to me at all once she got home from work. And for a while, she didn't. But by the end of Day Two of the GGV of 2005, she was actually picking and playing, even touching me, the way she used to.

I even managed to get into a political discussion with Mom without yelling and screaming. I imagine part of that was my Grandmother's presence. Another part of it was that not even Mom is really pleased with Georgie Porgie's performance, of late, even if she does still think he's "a good man". But mostly, it was because neither of us was very tired, and I was on my medication.

I think it's funny, though, that Mom believes I'm still carrying this around with me in some negative way. After my wife took off with my grandparents (she was driving their van, since they didn't know where they were going and it was dark) she kept trying to reassure me that we would get through this crisis and that I was welcome in her home. And she thought that I was tacitly trying to do the same thing. I wasn't. I was hanging around and talking to her because she was talking to me. I was just being polite. I figured if Mom had stuff to say, I'd let her say it. She thought I was doing that to spare her feelings. I was just doing it because I was raised to be polite.

From what I can tell, Mom's definitely of the "Forgive, But Never Forget" school of thought. Personally, I prefer the "Eh, She Is The Way She Is" school. To draw an obscure Andromeda reference, "I trust Tyre to be Tyre." Mom is who she is, and that's not going to change. She's too set in her ways to do, or think, things differently now. The same goes for my sister and my father. I loved them before I had this fight with Mom, and I love them now. The blowup in July was mostly my fault. I forgot who I was dealing with, and paid the price. Lesson learned.

The last bit of goodness to come out of this visit was that I got to spend some time with my aunt and cousin. The bad part of that was that I had to be in the same room as my uncle. My feelings on him have been made perfectly clear before. But it was nice to see his wife and one of his sons, and to find out his other son is doing well at college.

All in all, the Great Grandmother Visit of 2005 was a success. I hope Christmas goes as well.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain

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Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu