Mom has three brothers – two older and one younger. She was tortured by the older ones a lot when she was a kid… so she took it out on the younger one.
Jamie and I spent our summers in New York with my grandparents every year until we were in our mid-teens. Mom and Dad got the summer off (lucky!) while we visited family around the tristate area, went into “The City” and hung around with Noni and Grandpa. We slept in my Uncle Jody’s room when he wasn’t around. (He lived at home for a looooong time – but my grandmother didn’t seem to mind)
His birth certificate was up on a bulletin board in his bedroom. I always thought it was kind of strange. Why would you post your birth certificate like that? As if it was a diploma or something?
Finally I asked my grandmother what that was all about. Turns out… my Mom would constantly tell Uncle Jody (younger brother) that he was adopted… And that any minute his “real parents” would be coming by to pick him up and take him to his “real house.” He would run crying to my grandmother who would reassure him that he wasn’t going anywhere. Well – my Mom was so convincing, and it would get Uncle Jody SO upset, that my grandmother dug out his birth certificate and hung it on the wall for him to see. Proof that he was indeed part of the family.
The oldest, my Uncle Jim, and my Uncle Jody, are flying into Florida tonight. I haven’t seen them since 1994 – my last trip up to New York. They never really visited Florida; we only saw them when we visited over summers. I guess they’re just not that close kind of family that I have with my sisters. Even after discovering that Mom’s cancer was terminal, they never made it down here. It upset my Mom & Dad a lot… Dad has been especially angry about it. He even said that he didn’t want them to come to her funeral. I agreed with him. I mean, if they couldn’t come down here when she was alive, what’s the point coming down here when she’s gone?
My opinion: They have to live with their own decisions in life.
I understand that no one ever thinks that something like this could happen – but you can’t live your life like that. Maybe they’ll realize that now. The oldest brother and the youngest brother are on their way. They’ll see her tomorrow. For the last time.
Today is also the last birthday I’ll spend with my Mom. I have been sitting with her rubbing her arms, her hands… and it reminds me of when she did that for me while I was in labor with my children – on the days they were born.