Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Never Special," Ghoulish, pt. 3, 372 words

One of my aunts, Mom's oldest sister, whispers to another aunt that Mom's planning on sneaking off with a writing desk, one that Gram had bought and then put into storage long after Mom had moved out. I think Mom's eldest sister is the only one who even knew what had happened to the damn desk, aside from Gramp. It's pretty clear that my aunt, as the eldest, thinks it's her right to pick through everything of my grandmother's and take anything she wants without regard to her sisters and brother.

My uncle's wife spends half the time trying to direct the funeral arrangements herself, despite Gram's clearly-stated wishes for how it should go and the budget imposed by her life insurance. She never consults with anyone and acts like she personally created and owns all copies of the pictures of Gram that Mom and a cousin prepared for the funeral, and doesn't understand why anyone else might want copies too. My uncle, whom at first seemed like someone my mother could depend upon for help in all this insanity, bows to his wife's impositions without a word.

People I've never seen before, people who haven't even talked to my grandparents in five, ten years or more are coming out of the woodwork, too. They're stopping by with cookies and brownies and baked beans, and no end of other sugary things, as if it can make up for their guilt at ignoring Gram until too late. It just pisses off my mother more, that they think they can act like nothing's wrong, that all sins are exculpated by bringing by a box of donuts.

I think Mom's anger at it all distresses me the most, even compared to Gramp's quiet withdrawal. She's always been the calm and serene figure in my life, the one person who could look at any problem and handle it without fuss. I've never seen anyone else more in control of their life, nobody more charitable towards other people and their motives. And now she's losing it, reading something horrible into everything being said and done. And she's usually right, too, which doesn't make things better. It simply means everyone's just as horrible as she believes they are.

No comments: