Pardon me while I ramble today.
Recently I came back into contact with old acquaintances and friends from my Des Moines days via Facebook. People I haven’t seen since Will’s funeral or longer ago. This, coupled with an impending trip to central Iowa for a wedding in a few weeks, has stirred up memories. And not good ones, but it forced me to acknowledge a few things:
1) I still harbor resentment. I know that my perceptions of the time when Will was getting sick, but only I thought so, the years he was ill and everyone was forced to acknowledge it, and his death and the aftermath are different from those who were not privy to my thought processes.
People still believe they were helpful, empathetic and generally “there” for us, but from where I stood – and I still am standing there – they weren’t. They just weren’t. Sure, people have lives and responsibilities, but mostly people, where Will and I were concerned, and later Dee and I, just phoned it in and assumed that it was enough. It wasn’t. And it still pisses me off because I am not allowed to tell people how I feel. Why? That perception thing. And because I know now that some people (most people) suck when push comes to shove. They do the best they can and often it isn’t enough or at all.
2) I wish my niece was not getting married in Pella. Her fiancé’s family is from there. Will’s family is there. The bulk that includes auntie’s, uncles and cousins. The hotel and reception venue are just across the street from his grandmother’s old store and the apartment where she lived. Last I knew, his mother’s brother was living there. It’s not a place we visited often because Will hated it. Pella is small town which means that if you weren’t born there – you will never belong. Stiflingly conservative, hypocritically religious and very, very Dutch. Seriously Dutch. So Dutch, that if you aren’t, you don’t matter much at all. He resented being subject to social and cultural standards when those imposing them considered him an outsider anyway. The irony was that he actually was Dutch via his paternal Grannie, whom he loved, but he acknowledged that she shared the propensity of most of the pure and nearly pure Dutch he knew for being harshly judgemental, quick to dismiss and slow to admit mistakes they made because of it.
3) I don’t enjoy visiting the States. Border crossings have an unnerving police state feel to them. We are always running from one place, group or thing to another. There is no time to sit, see people other than family, or just wander around. And it seems too bright, loud and frenetic.
4) I am ready to write off Will’s family in their entirety. I don’t like them. Dee will not be worse off for not knowing them. And being the bigger person (sending pictures and cards) isn’t doing it for me.
5) Seeing my parent’s – my mom’s now – home is going to be hard. Mom has completely remodeled it. Just about all traces of Dad are gone. The last time I saw the house was the week he died. When I see it again, it will be almost as if he was never there. Despite having supported and encouraged her to do what she wanted and needed, I really wish Mom hadn’t been so thorough.
6) I need to prune my Facebook friends list.
And that is all.