Rewind: August 2nd 2008.(Some have heard this story, so I'm going to try to make it short, but I'm not so good at that, really - I'm the queen of pontification) My oldest boys wedding day. My sister, who is 34 and strung out on meth and xanex and Valium, who has been a hair cutter/hair doer for 18 years, offers to do the bridesmaids hair. It began badly. Wedding at 5, pictures at 3.. hair to be done by 2. Five bridesmaids, strung out sister supposed to arrive at 10am, arrives with my girl at 12. Messes every ones hair up, no one is happy and everyone (but my girl) now must go elsewhere to have their hair fixed. No pictures at 3. Pissed off bridesmaids and my son was pretty pissed too. My future daughter in law had her hair done first by someone else, wise choice. Before all this, I got my son and his new bride a room at the same hotel we were at since they couldn't afford a honeymoon and I couldn't afford to give them one, I did the best I could. Strung out sister kept insisting that we decorate the room. Couldn't understand when I said "There is no time". Why wasn't there time? I had to be at the wedding place by 430p, but couldn't check them into their room till 4. NO TIME! Now, strung out sister didn't do the obvious thing, which is take her wedding clothes with her to get ready after doing hair... I check the kids in and take off on the drive that is about 40 minutes away. 10 minutes into my drive, my father calls to tell me that I must now find strung out sister, who has ran out of gas on her way back to the hotel. Takes me about 15 minutes to find her, another 15 or so to get gas and find her car, which btw she had no idea where it was. Now, I'm pissed because I'm going to be late for my sons wedding. I get there about 10 minutes to 5. Sons wedding is beautiful, strung out sister never showed up. What was she doing?? Heh, let me tell you...
Breaking into my room, my fathers room and my sons room. My room, to steal my Valium, my fathers room to steal whatever he had in there and my sons room, to "decorate".. oh wait, how did she get in the rooms? She created a horrendous scene in the lobby, they said she was hysterical thus they gave her room keys (and in doing that, none of OUR keys worked upon returning to the hotel)Let's talk about the decorating for a moment. Grabbing flowers, roots and all,from the front of the hotel rooms, putting them in a trash can and the bathtub, dirt everywhere, also losing my daughter in laws wedding night outfit somewhere in the mix. Daughter and I get to the hotel at 1130, son and his new bride arrive around 1230.. knock on strung out sisters room for outfit, had to get new keys for room, then watched as strung out sister had some sort of complete tantrum outside both rooms, causing others to come out of their rooms (I didn't hear a thing, sound asleep). My son and new bride went to the front desk, talked them out of calling the cops and asked for a new room, which the front desk obliged. There's so much more, (like the fact she stole liquid Oxycontin from our dying grandmother) but lets fast forward now.
Thanksgiving, 2008 and Surprise Arizona. Strung out sister has put together 78 days sober. I stopped talking to her until just recently when I saw she was making an effort. (a little tiny rewind again - 6 years ago she met a man that is 3 years younger than our father. They have had an off and on relationship. He was a prick to her and she was a well.. you know the word, starts with a C..yeah well it was a volatile relationship to be sure)Some how they hooked up again, after the wedding (father and her mother kicked her out of the house after the wedding and she hooked up with him again, both moving to Tucson a month ago). They came to Surprise, Az for Thanksgiving...I was happy to see her, while I don't like "him" much, it WAS nice to see her looking healthy finally...
Toasting at dinner. Toasting for dad to get a heart soon, toasting to the health of others. My stepmother (strung out sisters mother)says she has one more toast to make. "To my daughter and my future son in law"... WHAT??? Took about 30 seconds for it to bounce of my brain, back and forth, DID I JUST HEAR THAT?? nah, no way..SHIT I DID, I'm NOT crazy after all...(future son in law is older than his future wives mother and at 62, is 3 years younger than his future father in law)I thought dad was going to drop dead right there at the table. "I don't see no fucking ring" He finally says. To which sister pulls out a receipt for a ring that they are making payments on. (please note, again my future brother in law is 62, my sister is 34 and he has kids, the oldest being 3 years younger than her)...Can you see my head shaking while I still try to understand this. (BTW, my sister is gorgeous,5'7, 125 pounds, beautiful green eyes shaped like a cats, beautiful figure..simply gorgeous and he is quite frumpy. While he doesn't look 62 at all, he's just not what I would want for my sister (not because of his looks, but his age) - but I'll come to accept it and I'll stand next to her while she makes, what I and a few others think is the biggest mistake of her life.. she is after all my sister. Though it's contingent on her not going back to drugs, cause then I will walk away from her again)
She says she is happy, however she is the type of person who cannot take care of herself and has never lived, NEVER LIVED on her own before. He pays the bills, she isn't working, but this isn't unusual, since it's the same pattern with her mother and our father. She also came outside (we have to smoke outside) with a glass of wine and couldn't understand why I was pissed. "You're not sober anymore" I tell her.. "Yes I am" she replies. "No, you lost all those days you put together, when you picked up that glass of wine" I give back to her. "Alcohol isn't my drug of choice" she says, "Wasn't mine either, but I drink, I'm no longer sober" I tell her..
Denial is not a river in Egypt. It's a full force in the face of her, my future brother in law, her mother and our dad. Yet no one but me sees it. Odd how that works.
So, that was Thanksgiving around the table. There's more really, like what about children (she would like to adopt, he wants to get her pregnant, to which my daughter later on correctly commented on.."He wants her to get pregnant and have a baby so he can keep her trapped, cause she would never leave him if she had a baby" Though my daughter also said, "Mom, I really see down the line should she have a baby, things happening and you'll be raising the baby".. I don't know if that would happen, but if need be, I would take the child and raise it, even though I am nearly done raising my own.)
My family is probably the most dysfunctional family on the face of the earth. No wonder I want to write a book! It's like watching a freaking train wreck, not being able to turn away from all the blood and gore, wanting to throw up in your mouth, yet knowing no matter what, your going to keep on keeping on, watching this train wreck unfold before your eyes, wondering if you can do anything to help, but sitting back helpless, because there's simply NOTHING you can do for those who are walking around bloody and wondering what the hell just happened to them, they have to figure it out themselves and it's sad and happy and beautiful and sick all at the same time. Oh and yes.. I am one of the walking wounded, though there are times when I've walked away from the train wreck for months and years at a time.. but like I said, you can't really turn away, not for good, thus I continue to return.
And now that my father, who truly is a good man with a generous heart, but an odd way of showing his love, is so sick.. I have to be in the middle of the train wreck. I am the oldest child, I must be the strong one, the one who comes in and gets bloodier and bloodier because that is my lot in life as the oldest child.. or at least that is how I see it. Perhaps, one day I can walk away for good from this train wreck, but I know deep in my heart, I won't be going anywhere soon - not until he is healthy again and then we shall see. They say when you look death in the face, you change. I wonder if that will happen with dad.
And for your viewing pleasure, here is a couple of pictures of my father (who eerily looks more and more like my grandmother before she passed)standing with my beautiful daughter (17 years old) and my gorgeous baby boy (13 years old)Check out the curls on that boys head!!
And no, I haven't forgotten that I still have to write Pre 9/11 part 2.. soon, I promise.