So, I've mentioned my aunt in dying of cancer. Because of this, my mom is spending all her time with my aunt and not coming here to visit me or the kids at all. I understand, I get it. She has maybe a year to live, so why not make the most of every moment.
This will be my first Thanksgiving without family around other than the husband and kids, and that will be sad, but since the last few Thanksgivings have sucked, and beyond, I am actually more than a little relieved. Last year my mom and stepfather showed up at almost 8pm on Thanksgiving, which had me delaying the meal over and over, and when they did show up, they showed up fighting, which was a miserable experience. The year before that my mom got in a car accident on her way here, totaling her car. She walked away from it, but needless to say, having to get her, and everything else, really delayed Thanksgiving, and the rest of the weekend was spent worrying about her car and how to get it. Years past beyond that remind me of why I started hosting Thanksgiving at my house, like the year before my son was born, when we showed up a day early to surprise my mom, and my stepfather kicked us out and threatened to call the cops if we didn't get out fast enough. My mom was at work when he did it. I was 25 at the time, and wow, that was my last straw for having someone else hold Thanksgiving. It seems that every year something goes wrong, and maybe this year will be pleasant. I have to work, but not for very long, just until 2pm, which gives me plenty of time to finish what needs to be done, like cooking. Since I am cooking for just us, we don't have to worry about the whole big hullabaloo. My mom will be going to my aunt's house, and while she is angry with me for not going, not only do I have to work, but me, and the kids, have been sick, and I will not bring us around my aunt, especially since she just had her first chemo, and that is just asking for trouble. My mom has been running a 103 temperature, but she still plans on going. She figures the virus will be totally gone by next week.
Christmas. I am expected to be there at my aunts for Christmas. I don't want to go, but unless my kids are sick, I am required. Christmas is another holiday I have started hosting at my house, because it is yet another holiday where things go wrong. If we go to my aunt's, which we have done before, I will be ignored. I always am. I can be talking to someone, and they will either walk away, start talking to someone else, or someone will talk over me like I am not talking. My aunt (not the one dying, another who will be there) told my mom that she would have seen her more when I was a teenager, had I not been around. If I am in the car with my mom and aunts, I am in the backseat, and they will turn the music on in the back so that I cannot be a participant. If my mom is visiting me and my aunts call, she will act like I don't exist, even if we are out to dinner. I don't want to spend Christmas feeling ignored and like I don't exist. My mom told me to stop being selfish and show up, because she would never forgive me. If I have no choice, I will be there Christmas Eve and then go home, that night, to have Christmas morning at home, with my family.
So, that leaves my birthday, which comes 2 weeks after Christmas. This is the first time that my mom will be with me and my kids, and have it not be about my aunt. Except, I just got done talking to my mom, and she wants to bring my aunt to the coast for my birthday. That we have been planning since 6 months ago. That is supposed to be about me. When I told her I don't want my aunt to go with us, that this is my birthday, about me, and I don't feel like being ignored for it, my mom let me know I was being selfish and hung up the phone. I think that I should be allowed to be selfish on my birthday. It is my day. I have a whole weekend planned that includes camping in yurts at the coast with my family and my best friend and her kids. My mom wanted to join us, and got a yurt too. It was her choice, and now she wants to make it into a special trip for my aunt to see the coast again before she dies. Why can't she get her own weekend to go to the coast? It is not that expensive to rent the yurts, but they might actually prefer a hotel. They can go anytime, why my birthday? Why am I selfish for not wanting to give up my day?
Yes, I am being selfish. I don't care. I want to scream and stomp my feet that this is MY DAY. Last year my mom talked me into going to see my aunts, they all live in the same town, and letting them partake in my birthday. They all said, hey, lets go to dinner. Then my oldest aunt let her son pick the restaurant, one I hate, and once we got in and sat down, everyone sat leaving the husband me and the kids at the far end of the table, next to all the kids. Happy birthday to me. No one but my husband talked to me, and once again, I didn't exist. I have a right to want to not go through that again. Don't I?
So, is it wrong to be selfish and want to have your birthday be about you, even when a family member is dying?