Day 09 – Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
My grandparents. I lost all my “real” grandparents pretty young, but my Aunt’s in-laws adopted our family as their own when she married her husband. I’ve known them most of my life, we called them grandma and grandpa even though we weren’t blood relatives. We really got close after we moved out here to Texas since they lived in Houston and I was really happy to have them in my life. Eventually I moved in with them.
My grandma – she’s this fiercely passionate woman who adores my grandfather and loved her job (she’s retired now). She kept an immaculate house and had some of the best design sense I’ve ever witnessed. My grandpa was just a friendly old guy, you know? Kept himself in good shape and expected that of others. Ate healthy (usually). I loved to sit and talk with them. They were great people when you were face to face with them and we had lots of great conversations together.
They were pretty happy when I was dating my ex-boyfriend. He looked good on paper. Good family, good career ahead of him, spends his time in church. They liked him, and were sad when we broke up.
I moved out but still kept in pretty close touch. Called them all the time, went by and visited, etc. The thing was… I hardly ever got any calls from them. I’d call and check on them, or call them for their birthdays, but I never would get calls or emails or anything from them. I realized pretty quickly that they were the type of people that just liked their life and their friends and you’re more than welcome to be in their life, as long as it didn’t really require them to keep up the communication.
I moved to Austin. I saw them less. I still called, I remember sitting on the porch of my new apartment calling to wish Grandpa happy birthday. I still didn’t get any calls back.
I remember sitting in their living room for a visit and telling them about this new guy I was interested in, Justin. I told Grandpa that he had a job, yes, but that he didn’t have a car because he was helping raise some kids with his Aunt. He was helping her out by giving her all his money to pay the electric bill and put food on the table. My grandpa couldn’t understand how I could be interested in a guy who didn’t have a car or a really amazing job. Seriously? Cars are not important. He was HELPING RAISE KIDS THAT WERE NOT HIS. Because he’s a good man. That meant a whole lot more to me than a car. So I finally introduced them to him, and you could tell they weren’t impressed. But that didn’t matter, because I was.
Over time I saw them less. I called them a little less.
And then my parents died.
And then it was honey, how are you? I’ve missed you, why don’t you call? I saw Grandma at my Aunt’s house, I could tell she just felt horrible about it. I could tell she wished she’d called, wished she’d seen them more.
But she hadn’t.
I saw them both at the funeral. It was so good to see them. I missed them so much. They told me they loved me, missed me, they told me to keep in contact and to let them know if I needed anything. I told them – specifically – call me, please, because I’m in no shape to remember to call you. And they said they would.
I carried on with my life at that point – dealing with estate issues and grieving and life and work and marriage. I realized sometime towards the end of the year that they had never called. Not once.
I promptly decided that if after the horrifying murder/suicide of my parents they could not be bothered to call and check on me… then I was done. I’m willing to forgive and look past and realize that to a certain extent that’s their personality… but I decided that I wasn’t going to be the one to take the first step back. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still waiting for them to call and check on me after the death of my parents. It killed me, not sending them pictures of Benjamin, but I really just kind of feel like I can’t.
If they ever call me up… I’ll exclaim how good it is to hear from them. I’ll catch them up on my life and see if they’re going to be in the Austin area anytime soon to meet my son. I’ll forgive them the instant they call because that’s my personality and because I miss them.
But I can’t call them. I need them to take the first step. That way I know I’m important enough to them to warrant a phone call. Until then, I’ll just stay here. Drifting.