We had a family gathering today, it is not something I am keen on, but sometimes due to illness or death the clan comes together. The family in question is my mother and my siblings, one male, one female. I am always at some point in the day cast as the baddie, the one who argues, the one who causes “an atmosphere”, the one that sticks out like a sore thumb. I have defence mechanisms for such occasions, I speak only when spoken to and keep my answers to a minimum of words. The least said, the less chance of being the one in the wrong.
I am forty six years old, the youngest of three and when we get together I feel ten and the cuckoo in the nest. Our starters hadn’t arrived today when I was told to “Stop it” through gritted vicious teeth. Today though I stuck up for myself and felt better for it, “Did you really just tell me to stop it, seriously” That wasn’t the start though, when my siblings arrived I was mid-tweet, so on bringing them up to the apartment I returned to finish it. “Put that away” I did as I was told and closed the laptop, both siblings got their phones out within seconds and ebayed, facebooked, tweeted or looked at their reflection, no comment. I sat quietly, the two siblings picked up magazines and began to read. I went out for a cigarette. The wrong thing to do, why do I always do the wrong thing. It is wrong for me to have my laptop open, it is wrong for me to leave when there is no conversation.
Of course things could only go downhill from there. When it was suggested that my husband wasn’t that tall, I replied, “No, he’s shorter than me, so not tall,” for some reason the conversation continued about his height culminating in me having to say “He’s taller than me, the same height, he can be whatever height you want”
I ate my starter slowly, not for any particular reason, it was a very nice tomato and basil salad and I was enjoying it. “Was I finished? Was I leaving it for my main course?” No I was just taking my time. I watched my siblings, my sister was being sarcastic and ironic, everything a joke, but with a nasty bitter aftertaste. My brother was silent unless spoken to, as was I. How did I get the flak? How did I manage to get cast as the baddie again? It all goes pear-shaped, and it is my fault.
Let’s blame me, we’ll wash over the sarcastic comment followed by three sets of laughter aimed at my faith, we’ll gloss over the pointed remarks about my not working, we will even forget that no one bothered to thank me for bailing them out this last week. What we are left with are barbed comments, my defence and that yet again, I am the worst daughter in the history of the world.
Dear Lord, thank you for accepting me into your family, in the crook of your arm I can rest, not for a few seconds respite but for all eternity. Thank you Lord that for the past week I have looked after my mother with the loving care needed. Lord when things go pear-shaped and there is no one to turn to for support, you are there, when the world is full of support, you are there. Lord you are amazing, thank you for the changes you have made in my life. Thank you that I can shed off the mantle of being the worst daughter, that for you I am equal with everyone else, we are all your precious children. We are loved. I am loved and I love you. Thank you Lord, amen