When my grandparents refused to sign a “we’ll tell the government where you are” note on my Stafford Loan because I refused to attend Ball State and live my formative years under their controlling influence, my neighbor across the street stepped in and told me quietly he would sign off. He was in fact instrumental in me graduating high school with the skills I needed, and he was often a source of quiet, almost subliminal support, when he recognized my family bearing down on me too hard.
I just found out – through my mother’s facebook page – that his wife died more than two weeks ago. My mother, who notifies me when relatives who never sent me so much as a birthday card passed, and who leaves dramatic and irritating “call home!” calls when someone important to her dies, did not see fit to tell me at all. (And really, why can’t she leave a message saying “So and so passed?” Her home was never my home, I just lived there until I found somewhere safe to go.) This goes on the list with her almost not telling me about my dad’s first heart surgery and with my sister STOPPING communications when Dad became terminal. ((She tweets in church, for fuck’s sake. She couldn’t send me a text update?)) I’m sure if confronted, this exclusion will be magically “all my fault” when in fact not only is it not my fault, it’s just Alice once again being a crappy human being while now milking sympathy as the “sweet old lady” from people who don’t know better.
The stunning self-absorption of my remaining relatives (they’re “family” when they want something or opt to put on the very false appearance of giving a damn about me) is nothing new. But this particular omission really pisses me off.
Jon was wrecked when my dad died. I can only imagine how he is now. And Mrs. Forgey wasn’t always nice to me, but she was for the most part real – and real was better than I ever got at home.