Friday, June 19, 2009

I Feel Like a Jerk

I've been so busy with school, work, Jamie and stuff related to Dad's passing that I've been pretty incommunicado with my family, other than by electronic means. However, most of my mom's side of the family is made up of technophobes (one aunt and uncle don't even own cell phones, much less a computer!), so I don't speak to them as often.

Today, on my lunch break, I called my Uncle A. and Aunt J. The first thing Uncle A. said was "How's your dad doing?" Ummm.... "Actually, Daddy passed away in January, the day before Jamie's birthday." If it had been nighttime, I'd have been able to hear crickets chirping. For all these months, my mom's family didn't know that my dad had died. Yikes! They weren't close by any means, but they're solid people. The kind who - even if they couldn't stand the ex-husband/father who wasn't related to them by blood, they'd still want to pay their respects for the people who they are related to's sake. And I didn't even let them know.

I hate, hate HATE that I'm such a bad neice/relative. I just get so wrapped up in the five million things I have going on, and I was raised pretty much separately from my extended family, so my first inclination has never been to call/write them to tell them what's going on in my life - especially when it's so crazy busy that I don't even have time to breathe, much less have a conversation. Plus, although we're related by blood, I don't really know them, and they don't really know me. True, part of that is my fault. I allowed my standoffishness to get in the way of me knowing them now that I'm an adult, and letting them know me.

I feel like a real jerk, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I'll just make the resolution (once again) to be a better relative and keep in touch, so they don't worry about me. They don't have Internet, so they can't read my blog or get an e-mail from me that lets them know how we're doing. I need to pick up the actual phone more often and let them know what's going on, and find out from them how they're doing.


Jessi said...

I am terrible at this. I email people all the time and tell everyone I see to read my blog, but I am horrible at picking up the phone or putting actual pen to actual paper. It's a disease. Sorry that happened. FYI, though, my dad doesn't know about Maren, yet. I don't feel guilty about it, though, more amused than anything else.

Suze said...

You are not not NOT a jerk. You do what you can. If they really are good people, they will understand...even if it takes a little time.

Lydia said...

Agree with Suze, AND you're the one who called them and made the effort. So, quit putting yourself down. Like you said, you can resolve to be more involved with them now. It takes two to build a relationship.

Animal said...

Ditto the above. People who can't understand the adult-life craziness of another person have too much free time on their hands; the whole idea is to be empathetic by being crazy-busy THEMSELVES! Especially family, even quasi-estranged family.

I'm with ya, though, on knowing what to do sometimes about extended family. I grew up close to a tight-knit core of folks on my mother's side, but that excludes even first cousins, most of whom I wouldn't recognize on the street. Check that: NONE of whom I would recognize on the street! My blood uncle - my father's oldest brother - died several weeks ago, and not only did we find out about 6 days AFTER it happened, but we were told that he was cremated with no memorial and no service. hoooo-KAAAY!

Be you. Live your life. Stay sane. Don't let guilt over lack of communication with distant relatives keep you up at night…you have PLENTY on your plate! Skunk-girl.


Becca said...

As another one who is sometimes lax at keeping touch, I echo the above. Life gets busy, and you handle it as best you can. In my case, a lot of it is due to the time zones. By the time I get home, get CJ settled, eat, and feel human enough to talk, my EDT family are fast asleep. Three hour time differences are a challenge.