Autumn brings with it bountiful harvests and a time for thanksgiving. Last year, Hubs and I sat in a barely furnished house with no Macy’s Parade of football while one of those (soon to be discovered by us, DISGUSTING) processed turkey breast baked away in the oven. It was depressing and all I wanted to do was cry. We were celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one weekend as deployment was days away. Military life finally made me realize how I missed my family, however dysfunctional they are. Oh, and trust me: you couldn’t script the crazy my family is.
When I knew we would be going home (home, home) this autumn I knew it was going to be a whirlwind! We’re meeting the movers, packing our stuff and heading back home (to California home). I knew the one thing I wanted was to celebrate the family I hadn’t seen in a year and that I might not see for the next two years! I planned a fun “feast of Thanksgiving” for the Sunday we’ll be in town. Then the question arose: since it’s a family gathering, do I invite my mother? The mother whom I haven’t spoken to since around November 2009? The mother who I was made to invite to my wedding, and who didn’t even bring a card? (I know it’s petty that I hold onto that, and I own that, but I mean: who goes to an event such as a wedding and doesn’t even take or send a card?)
I e-mailed Dr. J (my life coach, not the famous basketball player) and outlined the three possibilities
- I do not send her an invitation. She catches word that there was a family event she was excluded from, but I’m already gone and she takes it out on my grandmother (since it will be at Nan’s house).
- I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” by having the audacity to invite her out of the blue. She thinks she is being spiteful and doesn’t come. (this is the best case scenario in my book)
- I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” but actually comes (out of spite, because she is hateful) and I have to slap a smile on and play it cool. (this is the worst case scenario in my book)
Dr. J called me this morning and we talked about it. After much prayer and discussion with both Nan and him, we came to a conclusion. I send her the invitation, fly into the freak show that is my family (Hubs calls it a war zone and I think he would take a year in A-Stan over a three-hour family get-together with my mother in attendance, true story, no exaggeration.) and let the pieces fall where they may. I do not own their reactions because quite frankly, when it comes to my family, there is no right.
I’m not going to lie: her “note” is a little snarky and more to inform her it is happening than to invite her to join in. I’m trying God, I’m trying, just not hard enough when it comes to the woman who has hurt me for the last 27 years of my life. (Well, 27 years as of next week! Man, I’m getting old!)
Next step is to work out a survival strategy in the event she actually shows her face. If you are reading this thinking “what in the world is that girl’s problem?” think of it like this: my mother is worse than the worst mother-in-law horror story you have ever heard. I’ll be sure to share how it goes down and my survival strategy with you all once Dr. J and I come up with it!
How do you handle those horrific family members or in-laws? I am not looking forward to being home with my family. I am only very, very, very excited to be home with Nan!
Oh, and I thought I would make this my song of the week for Amber’s link up!
“Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m comin home
Times go by, seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I’m comin home
You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized, yeah
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes
You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can’t stand to say goodbye
Mama, I’m comin home
I could be right, I could be wrong
It hurts so bad it’s been so long
Mama, I’m comin home”
I’m gearing up and am ready for the inevitable emotional journey that will be going home this time.
*Oh, you didn’t think I was an Ozzy type of gal, huh? Well, I am!