Recently I was blessed to be able to spend a day with one of my absolutely most favorite people of all time. We’ve not seen each other in over a year and a half and prior to that it had been many months since our last visit so there was a lot of catching up to do.
She also knows my former in-laws and reluctantly answered a few questions that had been bugging me.
I’m not sure I can express my gratitude to her for giving me the gift of relaxing. You see, ever since the separation and divorce, I’ve been killing myself trying to be kind. Reaching out, helping, being friendly and trying to be friends with them. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. “Say ‘hi’ to your folks for me,” I tell him, but it was never reciprocated. The only time his mother mentioned me was to tell him I should be invited to my son’s graduation party that was being held in conjunction with my niece’s party.
It was my ex-mother-in-law’s comment that gave me hope that we could put things behind us and move forward like adults. Socialize, be friends and former family members. After all, we share family. My children are still my children and their grandchildren/niece/nephews, and that connection will never change. But I heard nothing from them. I worried that my messages weren’t getting through. I fretted and fussed.
This weekend, I was given the gift to let it go, to let be. This weekend I found out they don’t want my friendship. They are not comfortable with me because, despite what they’ve said (to me!) in the past, gay people make them “uneasy”. Now I know why all my attempts at being friendly were rebuffed and unwanted. I was making a damn fool of myself and didn’t even know it.
My dear friend is not like them, and she’s raised her children to accept people from all walks of life. She is an awesome mom, and awesome friend, and an all around awesome person. She does not think she did a good thing, because she’s afraid it hurt my feelings.
Quite the contrary, actually. She gave me the gift of freedom. I don’t have to be all socially acceptable and polite and ask after his family any more. I have my children, and my nieces and nephews who mean a great deal to me and who still call me Auntie. I still have my dear friend, and you know what? That is enough for me when it comes to that bunch. I will not talk the family down to my kids, because it’s their family too, and that wouldn’t be fair. I’ll save my bitching for when they’re not around.
My friend and I got caught up on our kids, we talked about jobs, we talked about shopping, and we talked about food. We talked about the important things. We unburdened our hearts, turned our backs on past aches, and we’re making plans to get together again.
I can’t wait.