Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good deeds do not go unpunished

This is a pretty serious post. You have been warned. Who knows? Maybe it's in poor taste to post this but this is my spot to get stuff off my chest so here goes.

Three weeks before my mom died she asked her mom (my Grandma Shrew) for some money to pay a bill and promised to pay it back. It was a long story as to why but that doesn't matter anymore. I want to point out that my mom told Grandmother Shrew she would pay it back. I also want to say Grandmother and Grandfather Shrew (here on out, they're the Shrews) have MONEY. Big MONEY. Money out the ass. Money enough to loan $300 without feeling a pinch. Money enough to give that away to anyone monthly and never feel the pinch. Money enough that they bought a brand new Cadillac and paid in cash- C*A*S*H!! With the Shrews everything ALWAYS came with a price, and when I hit my teen years I figured that out. This is just another example that proves this.

The Shrews said no. And they said the consequences that came with not being able to pay the bill were her lesson to be learned.

Three weeks later my mom died.

We could say I've been pissed at the Shrews since then- and pissed would be putting it mildly. We then had a knock-down/ drag out fight on Christmas Eve the first holiday after mom died- just 3 months later. I stood up for myself as did Daddy-O. You gotta take a stand sometimes, right or wrong. Since then, I think I've talk to the Shrews a total of 5 times. At most. That fight was December 2006

Now let's fast forward to April 2009. Grandmother Shrew called me. She was crying and wanted to know why all this time I wouldn't talk to her. I didn't want to tell her about the mom/ money thing so I was vague. I don't know why. I was afraid she might lie and then it's her word against a dead woman's and then I would be REALLY pissed at her. So, one thing led to another and she and I were "yelling" at each other.

I'm sure you figured out there are other things Grandmother Shrew said and did to me and to my mother (and father) over the years that I'm not writing about here. There are and she did, but I just can't seem to write them here in black and white. This is personal enough. Assume the Shrews were not the best parents and grandparents in the world, and while that wasn't my cross to bear, they hurt my mother more than I can say and I become fiercely protective of those around me. I couldn't protect mom from them while she lived, but I know I can protect mom's memory. I stayed mad at the Shrews; right or wrong, it was my choice.

Now look back at last Monday- just a week ago. My Grandfather Shrew went to the hospital and he's dying. He's 83 and will never leave the hospital. He knows this. The man had 5 open heart surgeries among a whole host of other things; doctors never thought he would live this long.

Lately I've gotten several calls from folks who've encouraged me to be the one to make peace since he's dying- so I won't feel bad or guilt after he's gone. Makes sense, I guess. In ten years if I got over this, I can't make amends with a dead person, now can I? But was I ready to do it now? I swallowed my pride because the guy is dying. Maybe it's not about whether I was ready to make amends but do it because he's dying- and it would make him happy, according to these people who call, if I made up with both Shrews. I called my Grandmother Shrew on Friday night. I went to her house and we talked. I never told her about the being mad over money thing, because she is just a sad, old, sick lady so I kept that one detail to myself. I swallowed my pride and gave in to her, made peace with her. Sucked down my own feelings and did the right thing.

Grandmother Shrew and I made things right. It was the right thing for me to do. I thought. I guess.

Early Saturday morning, she calls and wants me to come to the hospital at 7 a.m. because Grandfather Shrew had a very bad night; he wanted to talk to me before "the end". So I went.

The long and the short of it is that he wanted to tell me he was very disappointed in how I lived my life, never settling down, not living like a good Christian. He said he was really disappointed that I never got my Masters degree and that I move around. He also said he was very hurt and upset over how I talked to my Grandmother Shrew in April so I was out of the will. Oh yeah, he said he still loved me but this was a way to teach me a lesson.

Wow. Dang.

I said okay. What what I supposed to say?

I stood up for myself but I swallowed my pride and tried to make it right. And I get disinherited.

And other than being hurt and stunned momentarily, I'm alright with it. I stood up for myself and am out. Everything will go to my brother, a few cousins, and their church, maybe their dog- who knows? Who cares? I can't be bought which makes me feel good. I said to Daddy-O months and months and months ago that my silence would probably get me disinherited and I was right. And I can live with it. Not that I have a choice, but rather than feeling bitter and angry, I'm good with the choices I made and the ending result if, I guess, no fault of my own, and I'm okay with it. I'd rather be poor and have my head up than have sucked up to them for money.

I will continue to try and keep lines of communication open with Grandmother Shrew after he's gone, but I'll be damned if I try and back pedal; after she and I talked on Friday I made a promise to her to stay in touch and I won't renege on that promise. I'll keep the story of the money to myself- being disinherited doesn't change the fact that she's just a sick, sad, old, mean lady. I won't suck up for money- I don't want it if it means I have to be a hypocrite. I won't be "bought" or controlled by money- what sad people they are to buy love, but then again, they've always done that. I think it's sad that on his death bed, that's the memory he wants to leave me with: that he thinks I'm a big, mean disappointment. Okay.

Weird the way things work, right?

I'm not trying to say I'm a great person. I'm not trying to say I deserve anything. I'm not saying I handled this entire thing the right way. But I did stand up what I believed in, and I tried to do the right thing, in my own way. I'm not any more rich nor poor than I was yesterday or last week or tomorrow. That's it.