I had planned on working today. I was going to be strong and get through the day by myself. I was not going to rely on anybody.
Then reality smacked me in the face.
I went to work for a couple of hours. But I couldn't concentrate. I went shopping. But I wasn't making wise choices. And then I thought that I should go to my sister-in-law's house.
I almost chickened out. As I turned onto her street I was thinking about how long it had been since I had last talked to them. And I was thinking about the awkwardness there would be if they asked why I didn't come around more often. But I stopped the car.
My sister-in-law, Terry, met me in the yard with a huge hug. She was so happy to see me. And my sister-in law, JoAnne, was in town for one night to see the family. And that's why my brother-in-law, Steven, had stopped by. And of course there were all the requisite nieces and nephews there.
When I walked in my mother-in-law started to get up to greet me. We told her to stay where she was and I would come to her. (She's in her 80s and not too stable on her feet.) It took her about 15 minutes to let go of my hand. She was so thrilled to see me. Sometimes I forget that I'm now her only link to her baby boy.
Being with Donny's family was just what I needed today. I hadn't realized just how much it hurt me that they hadn't tried to reach out to me since his death. But I realized today that they want to, they just don't know how.
I wasn't in this family for very long when we lost the one who linked us together. We never got a chance to really solidify our relationship before he was gone. And because of Donny's alcoholism there had always been a strain when we were around.
But today went beautifully. And if I keep going around, keep reaching out, things will improve. I realized today that they weren't sure if I wanted to be in their life anymore. That saddens me, because I love them a lot. How could I not? They're my family.
I'm so glad I stopped.