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Found a great quote on Twitter today:
“…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
It doesn’t get more true than that.
Specifics fade or morph. They take on lives of their own. But in the end, what drives the things you say or do into another person’s soul like nails into the proverbial coffin are the feelings that resulted.
Good, bad and freak show ugly, what matters at the end of the day is how people feel.
Last evening a friend of Will’s mother contacted me on Facebook. I haven’t heard from her in five years. In fact, the last conversation we had concerned her calling on MIL’s behalf to inquire about Will’s burial.
Which I had not invited anyone to attend given the fact that his mother and friends hijacked his visitation and made it all about them and their loss. Dee and I weren’t even afterthoughts.
At the time, this woman had been acting as a go-between for about six months. MIL moved shortly before Will went into hospice and refused to allow anyone to tell me her new address or phone number.
And no, there wasn’t any trauma-rama incident that led up to my being persona non-grata. She just hated me and preferred to let others talk to me and relay information to her.
In our last conversation, I told MIL’s friend that in the future MIL was to contact me herself if she needed information. I wasn’t catering to her Queen of England fetish anymore.
Okay, I didn’t make the “Queen” comment but I was clear enough.
I didn’t hear from MIL for 8 months and last evening was the first I’d heard from her friend.
“I was searching for friends and thought I would try to find you. I am curious to see pictures of Will’s daughter to see how she is growing up.”
And yes, she referred to Dee as “Will’s daughter”. I don’t imagine any of his friends remember that Dee is a separate entity with a name of her own. She’s simply a legacy.
Some Facebook buddies responded to my slightly ranty status update bemoaning having been tracked down. They’d been there and advised using the various privacy tools to limit access to my personal page while still relaying information to interested parties about Dee.
But my sister, DNOS, was more to the point in her reply,
I wouldn’t Annie, you owe them nothing!!!! or completely block em!! It is time to end it!!! All they will do is bring you and everyone else misery!! I know that is mean but I had watch them and that is all I can say!!!!!Well I could say more but can not here.
DNOS is still a bit indignant on my behalf and she is a fierce mama tiger. It was all I could do to keep her from ripping his family and friends to shreds during the funeral. She did lay waste to one of Will’s pool league buddies who wandered outside for a smoke and ran into her. He, according to her account, “blubbered like a baby and boo-hoo’d about how he should have been there for Will. And I just gave him a look of disgust and told him he should have before I walked away.”*
My sister is a strong person. She has no use for the weak, indecisive or those who look back on their poor behavior expecting sympathy. “Fuck ’em” is her motto. You have ample opportunity in life to stand up and be worthy in her opinion. Regrets are for the useless.
MIL asked me once to forgive her for the slights, dishonesty, malicious attempts to undermine me with the staff at the nursing home and again at hospice.
But I can’t forget what the Social Worker at hospice told me after one such attack,
“She hates you. Be careful.”
I am not at all sure what prompted the friend’s request for photos. I messaged back that she should inquire with MIL for photo access as I have sent her pictures recently. She replied with a “thank you” and not much more. I suspect that MIL sent her looking for me on FB with the intent of gaining access to real-time information via my page.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the hunt has even led them to this blog or the others for which I have written.
I have enjoyed five years of pretty much total anonymity from Will’s family and friends on the Internet. Longer than I should have expected but given their mercurial temperaments and historic lack of interest in how Dee or I was faring, perhaps it’s more of a surprise to be found at all.
I haven’t forgotten the feelings associated with dealing with a single one of them. I was the Cinderella of care-taking and then of widowhood, and I broke all manner of polite society (which is funnier if you know the people I am taking about) rules by moving on and eventually remarrying.
Gut instinct says this is first contact.
*On a side note, DNOS informed friend and MIL’s sister that no way in hell would they ever see Dee again after the funeral. I knew nothing about this exchange at the time. In fact, DNOS was under orders from me not to start anything with the in-laws, whom she held in great contempt for their failure to be much help. She especially disliked MIL for her antics while Will was in hospice and when we arrived at the funeral home to find that MIL and friends had set up camp and taken over, it was all I could do to hold DNOS back. I wasn’t in the mood for a Finnegan sort of wake.