Posted by: jenn11970 | June 8, 2009

Graduation Weekend Highlights

Well, to update, I went to my daughter’s graduation from college in May.  It was very overwhelming on so many levels, but a milestone in relationships in other aspects.  I stayed at her house for 4 days and really got a chance to get to know all 3 of them in very different ways.  In that regard, it was very enlightening, and by the end of the weekend, I really felt like an addition to their family, instead of odd man out.

Linz I DID IT shot

Any trip where being with “family” is a concern, there are always those one or two bad apples……….Instead of worrying about them and how happy I would have been to see them rot in hell……I instead made them into apple pie.  I am glad I swallowed my first response to them, and turned that other cheek, as hard as it was.  One of them I think, was just worried about what she really didn’t understand until meeting me in person, the other; well the jury is still out on her.  However, I am jumping ahead of the tale…….

I arrived on Friday morning and we then went to the restaurant where L’s mom works as a waitress and has worked for the last 25 years.  These people are very tied to L’s Mom and L in so many ways, and I knew this was going to be very awkward for me.  I was introduced as L’s “Birthmom”, which has never bothered me in writing, but when said aloud, in a crowded restaurant, I started to wonder what other people were thinking of me at that moment.  L’s Mom saw my uneasiness, and quickly asked me if that was the way I wanted to be introduced.  I loved her for it, and told her I was fine and that I was really enjoying meeting all of her friends.  Since they knew how L and I were “related” to each other already, referring to me as Jenn, was probably all that was necessary to tell them.  She totally understood, and Jenn I was.  It was still a bit awkward because I wondered what kind of preconceived notions these women had of me all the years before our reunion.  Since it is nothing I could really control, I proceeded to just be me and I think they will draw new conclusions of who I am.  After breakfast we went to L’s house to drop off my stuff and get to planning the rest of our day.  While at the house L’s Mom started to tell me about one of her cousins that was having a hard time with L’s relationship with me.  She thought it was not fair that L wanted to spend so much time with me without her Mom on graduation weekend.  Wasn’t she jealous of that fact???  Effectively, this woman was trying to stir up problems where none, in my mind, existed.  I told “Lucy”, if she wanted to go into Salem with us, that was fine with me.  If she wanted to go out with us after the cocktail party that night, I would love to have her there.  She assured me she didn’t want to do either of those things with us, and that this was L’s weekend with me, and this is what she wanted and it made her happy to see L so happy.  She was just telling me about the cuz, so I would be aware for the following night’s graduation dinner.  I was also warned about “Lucy’s” Aunt, who really wasn’t happy with the current situation within our relationship.  In her mind, L didn’t need me, she already has a family.  “Lucy” has tried to explain, with no acceptance from this elder in her family.  Again…..this was just to forewarn me of what I may “feel” from just 2 members of their family.

Fast forward to Saturday.  Graduation was a dream!!!!  L was excited, happy, flitting around, and not feeling well.  We had decided to stay in and catch up with one another instead of going out the night before.  (We think it may have been something she ate at dinner on Fri. but she was definitely not feeling well, but hiding it well!!)  We went out to lunch after graduation and then headed home so L could take a nap before the big dinner that evening.  We were hoping she would feel well enough to go out for it and that we would not have to cancel.  After a 3 hour nap, she said she felt better, and really wanted me to meet her extended family, so out for the dinner party it was!!  I was so nervous.  This is L’s family…….the people who loved and still love her in place of my own family.  I was terrified of what they would think of me, how they would judge me.  How they would question me, and maybe even wonder why this seemingly normal woman would ever have given up L to begin with.  My fears were put to rest after I meant “Lucy’s” sister.  She was so warm, caring, and seemed genuinely happy I had made the trip out.  One of Lucy’s co-workers from the restaurant was there, and she had me chatting and feeling pretty damn warm.  Then one of Lucy’s uncles, and the cuz with problem…..she was eager to hug to me, and tell me how happy she was to meet me…..all ery nice.  So I was in the zone of feeling pretty good when SHE walks over.  She is approx. 75 years old, the matriarch of sorts, under 5 feet tall, and looking all of her 75 years.  No smile, not even behind the eyes.  L turns to introduce me.

L: “Auntie R, this is Jenn.”~~( Big smile from L.  Clearly excited to introduce me.)

Auntie R: “So….you are L’s Mom????”  (Said with disdain.)

Me: “Nice to meet you Auntie Rose, I am Jenn.”  (Crooked smile, but really trying to maintain composure.)

Lucy:  “Auntie Rose this is L’s Birthmom, Jenn.  We are so glad she came out to see L.”

Auntie Rose: (Pulling L as tightly to her chest as she can, and wrapping her arms around her) ” See Jenn, this is MY L.  She is our family, we love her and we are keeping her here with us.  She is going nowhere.  Do you understand that?  She is in our family, and is a part of us, we love her and you can’t have her back….ever.”

Shocked faces galore……to be sure…..L visibly uncomfortable but trying to think of a way to salvage and not diminish anyone.  Lucy is shocked and is admonishing Auntie Rosie for speaking her mind.

I am alone.  No husband with me.  My 4 yr old at home with her Daddy.  I quickly put my hands behind my back, and start to squeeze my hands together to make it alright.  I imagine my Grandma, squeezing my hand.  My Mom, my Dad, my Mom’s parents giving me a squeeze, Jim giving me a hug and whispering it is all going to be okay.  A kiss from my precious Little One.  I am fighting the dam wants to rain tears down my face, my heart is racing.  I am SHOCKED.  Just because she is old doesn’t mean she is given the right to be rude.

Me: (Spoken calmly and with a smile)” I am so glad you love her.  It makes my heart soar to know she has so many people that love her so unconditionally.  After all, isn’t that what family is for?  It is so nice to meet you.”

Loudspeaker: ” F party of 21, your table is available”

My mind, ” There is a God.”

There were 17 people between me and Auntie Rosie over dinner.  She attempted to make conversation with me by coming down to our end of the table 3 times, and I denied her(politely of course).   Seems petty now, but oh how empowering it seemed then to continue conversations with others as she stood there waiting to enter a conversation I was NOT going to let her enter…..LOL!!!  Ahhhhhhhhh, Zombies, my new old favorite drink!!!  LOL!!!!

That night when we got home, and on the way home as well, the words “I’m sorry” must have been used 1000 times.  We now have an inside joke, and agreed that Auntie Rosie made the 4 of more of a family then before.  They had my back, and to me, that defines family. Lucy said that now I was officially family, as I had survived Auntie Rosie.

NEXT:  Saturday night videos of L……  Her First Christmas and more………..

Advertisements

Responses

  1. WOW! I’m impressed that you didn’t deck aunt Rosie! I know I would have!

    I’m so glad you had a great weekend! I can’t imagine the roller coaster of emotions you must be on.

    (((((((HUGS))))))))

  2. Also surprised you didnt deck her 🙂 but glad the result was it made you all feel MORE like a family. Love and hugs to you and so, so glad to see you blog again.

  3. Let me at her…I will take her down for you…you are right being old dose not mean being rude…Jenn I am so glad to finally get to hear the story…I smiled the entire way and could ‘hear’ you saying the words…

  4. Thanks Ladies!!! Believe me, I wanted to throw her down a flight of stairs!! Suffice it to say, I used the “Kill her with kindness” method to a very nice advantage!!! Her words to me on Saturday night made the rounds of the family and I got a round of apologies on her behalf on Sunday at the other graduation party. On one level, I get what she was very poorly trying to say. She wanted me to know that she and the family had accepted L, and loved her unconditionally. That makes me very happy, and is what I always wanted for L. On the other hand, my family and I love(d) her that way too, and I think that is too much for her old head to wrap itself around. Eh….ya have to put up with all kinds, right?!?! LOL!! Thanks for the support and kind words.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: