Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Me and my sisters always say I love you before we leave each other, whether it's on the phone, when we're leaving the house for the day, going to sleep at night, or running out for five minutes to grab more milk. When we lived in Brooklyn we even said it running down to our nana's and she lived right near us. We're all loud and Italian with our feelings, and the first time Dani was leaving and said I love you to Josh he was a little flustered. It's kind of as if his family is Jewish but with some hardcore WASP tendencies. They were not very mushy when I met them. The first time I hugged Laurie, she stood there really stiffly and looked shocked.

Aunt Elaine hated us, and constantly talked shit about us, to us. I wish we could have asked my mom how they came to be so ... apart. I can't imagine hating one of my sisters so furiously that I'd take it out on their kids. That just seems to cross a huge line. 

I want to talk to my mom about all of it. Aunt Elaine, what they were like growing up, if she did something to make the three of us close. Alex once said she wasn't convinced multiples are closer than we are. I wonder if my mom ever tried to fix her fight with Aunt Elaine. I wonder what she could have done to make it so bad in the first place. Danielle once said she did nothing, and Aunt Elaine was just jealous.

I don't know if we'd have wound up this way if we hadn't lived with Aunt Elaine. Maybe my mom wouldn't have been permanently placed on the pedestal she's on if she'd lived. Maybe she'd have totally fucked up everything that was about to come. I guess that's the good thing about dying early in someone's life, when all you've done are the easy parts - you die confident everyone will remember you lovingly.

 Sometimes I wish I could hate my mom so missing her wouldn't hurt so much.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I think that people who have conflicted feelings about their parents have a harder time when the parent dies. Just an observation. I don't mean that you don't miss her or that it's easy on you or anything. Just that if you had conflicted feelings about your mom, you'd be conflicted on top of missing her when she was gone. That's not easier.

It is still awful and unfair to grow up without your parent. I'm glad you and your sisters are close and loving to one another.

Monica said...

Anonymous is right about your feelings for your mom. You can feel grief without guilt about any predeath split.

I really do think your time with Aunt Elaine brought you and your sisters closer together. People tend to react either by banding together or by adding to the chaos and becoming very self centred when exposed to stress like that. I'm happy for you that your family was able to go with the positive reaction.

Nina said...

I'm not saying anon is right or wrong, but I can see why you'd feel like that Sam. Your mother sounds like she was a pretty amazing mom, and I can't imagine how difficult it is to endure her absence.

As for the sibling thing...I too don't understand how a rift btwn siblings could result in one abusing the other's children. That's just twisted on so many levels. And I say that as someone who doesn't get on with one of my siblings. That's what makes me think it wasn't even about your mother at all, but that your Aunt Elaine had some serious issues all her own.

Regardless, you and your sisters are amazing, and that is due, in part, to you AND your mother.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Whatever your Aunt Elaine's deal with your mother was or wasn't, the way she treated all of you was inexcusable. To take three young girls who have suddenly and violently lost their mother and their only brother, and do ANYTHING but nurture and love them is sadistic.
My own mother's mother was institutionalized when my mother and her 2 siblings were very young. They grew up very closely-knit because their mother had loved them so much and that was what they had to hold onto. I hate that your mom died when you were all so young and still had so much mommyness left to go. You are all amazing.

Catherine said...

Yeah, hating your mom wouldn't make it any easier. My mom killed herself 8 years ago, and I'm still mad everyday about it, and miss her everyday too. The mixed feelings suck ass.