Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Family Member

Dear “family member,”

So far tonight I have taken a bath, watched TV, and tried to read and yet I still can’t relax because you keep popping up in my mind. I get so angry at you and your actions that my blood does more than bubble-it all but scalds the pot. The onslaught of hateful text messages, e-mails, and phone calls that we have received from you since Toby died is staggering. I have written some of my reactions to these in my grief blog, but now I thought I’d take the time to tell you how I really feel.

When you blamed me for Pete not coming to his Mom’s funeral, I thought you were just being stupid. I mean, I guess I could have done more to encourage him to go. My bad. I just thought that booking the plane ticket, renting the car for him, and writing ALL of his English friends to let them know that he would be in town and asking them for their support was going to be enough. But you’re right; I guess I should have done more.

Then, when you sent me to the text message and told me that I had “killed” my son and somehow was even responsible for the death of my mother-in-law, I thought you were out of your mind. I’m good, but even I can’t cause cancer. In fact, the most I’ve ever been able to do in any of my spells has been to encourage someone to get in touch with me. Then again, I did drink out of the Chalice Garden in Glastonbury since then so perhaps I’m a stronger witch than I give myself credit for now.

I also enjoyed the e-mail in which you asked Pete to repay you nearly $20,000 for not being the son that you thought he was. He appreciated knowing how much his life is worth to you. I will let you in on a little secret, though. It’s worth more to me. When I took out a life insurance policy on him, I got it for $50,000. You’re getting cheated.  

Let’s see…

My mom loved it when you told her that “everyone” knew that she had masterminded Pete’s not going to England. Although we were slightly confused, considering that up until that point you had been blaming me. Mom preened a little bit though. She had never been accused of being a mastermind before and I think it went to her head a little bit. She still has that text message you sent her on her phone. She likes to look at it sometimes to remind herself of what a villain she truly is.

What made me mad, however, was when you kept throwing money in our face. Like when you said I used YOUR credit card to book our plane tickets to England 3 years ago and that you didn’t know I was going to do that and I went behind your back and spent your money. Um, nice try dude. I used Pete’s credit card. Screw that nonsense. But believe me, had I known that trip would come back to bite us in the ass I would have taken Sam to the beach instead.

It also made me mad that you didn’t want my son at his grandmother’s funeral. That’s right, I said “my son.” Because he is not your son and you didn’t have a say in it. You know what? If I want to take him skydiving for his 5th birthday you STILL don’t have a say in it. And yet, once again, you threw money in our face. I didn’t ask you to buy his plane ticket. Nope. A friend of mine was paying for his ticket. And another friend was coming up from Wales to watch him during the service. And I was going to pay for his hotel room so that you wouldn’t have to be inconvenienced at all. Oh, yeah, and the second part about having to hire an extra limo if he came…there’s that money thing again.  Classy, dude, classy.

If you took the time to get to know him then you should know that he is a sweet, smart, and funny child that loves people. But you don’t know him. You have never taken the time and even when you’re around all you do is sit there and complain about not knowing him. My own dad doesn’t see him much but when he does see him he plays with him, talks to him, and spends time with him. Take a lesson from my dad. (Who, by the way, is looking better and better in terms of father figures these days. So thanks for that, too. Suddenly, I appreciate him a lot more than I ever have.)

There were other nice messages we received from you as well. There was a very nice one you sent when I asked you to stop writing us because it was stressing me out and I feared for the safety of my pregnancy, but your reply to that was so out of line that I’m not going to even post it here. Although I will if this nonsense continues.

I also appreciate the whole “woe is me” attitude that you have going on. All we have heard is how hard Toby’s death has been on you. That’s right-when you mention Toby at all. Tonight you told Pete that you were upset that he didn’t want to know about his mother’s last days. (Um, he did. He just didn’t ask YOU. Maybe that’s because you were so busy telling him about what an awful person he was.) But let me ask you this: Did you ever inquire about Toby’s last days? Or his first days? Or any of the days in the middle?

You were upset that he didn’t come to “support you.” Well, did you stop to think about what he might be going through? Every single person here that knows him was not the least bit surprised that he stayed here. Everyone supported his decision but you. You countered that you were there to “help him.” When my son is sick, I take care of him. I do not expect him to take care of me when I am. I will keep that in mind, though, for future reference. It could come in handy.

By the way, when I informed some of the people on your side that he had passed away, do you know what one of the first things they said to me AND to Mom was? To not let your wife know because it might upset her. That’s right. You asked me to LIE about my son’s death because it would just upset your wife. We were meant to pretend that everything was fine when we talked to her. Yeah, right, and thanks for thinking of us.

Oh, and by the way, the funeral cost a little over $2,000. And the headstone cost $500. So yes, while your $1200 (and not $1500 like you said in your recent text) helped, please stop pretending that you paid for the whole damn thing. You didn’t. In fact, I just wrote out a check last week for the rest of the amount. And believe me, if I had anything worth selling that would bring in $1200 I would send it to you right now so that I could go through the rest of my life knowing that I don’t owe you one pretty penny.

Whenever you have done something nice for us like that, you just throw it back in our faces. My friends, on the other hand, held a freaking yard sale and raised money for our expenses and not once have they held that over our heads. They came together and donated clothes, posted things in the paper, and even made cupcakes. We also had people that we didn’t even know sending us checks to help us get through those next few weeks since we couldn’t work. None of them ever brought that back up again. Learn from them.

Oh, and the whole thing about how Pete shouldn’t be hurting as bad as you since at least he still has a wife to “cuddle with” at night…well, wouldn’t it be nice to be in YOUR shoes. YOU still have a son and look at the way that you treat him. We lost one of our sons and I can’t even wrap my head around the things that you have said and written to yours. Or, talk to my friend Melissa. She just had to take her mentally disabled son to live in a group home. I bet she’d sure like the chance to talk to him every day, have grandchildren to play with, and watch him grow up.

Lastly, today when you told Pete that he shouldn’t “let” me write things about you-what the hell? Have you even met me? “Let” is not part of our vocabulary. We have a partnership in our home-not a dictatorship. And the day my husband tries to stop me from doing something is the day that he is no longer my husband. Or the day that he gets a frying pan to the side of his head.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You ought to be ashamed that your grandson’s birthday party is in two days and you won’t be a part of it-not because we wouldn’t let you but because it never even crosses your mind to make a point of being a part of his life. (Of course, that’s not the way that you are going to tell it. Oh, no. It’s much easier to paint me as a bad guy, tell everyone that I am making up stories about you, and point fingers than it is to take personal responsibility for anything.) You ought to be ashamed that you haven’t been supportive to him after he lost a child when you should have been the most supportive.

I have tried and tried and tried to come up with a scenario in which I would be justified in telling Sam that I am disappointed in him, that he owes me money for not being the son that I thought he should be, or that he has something wrong with his head. And I just can’t. Maybe I’m too optimistic.

But you’re not ashamed. You take no personal responsibility. Yes, I probably write things on here that I shouldn’t. And sometimes I write before I think. But I have never been untruthful. We have all kept everything that you have sent us. You call me a liar and say that I am making things up about you. I ought to just post the e-mails and texts that you have sent to me and Mom and Pete. You know, the things that I haven’t brought up here. I ought to post them right here on the Internet and let everyone read them.

But I won’t. Do you know why I won’t? Because I am going to lie to Sam. That’s right. You can finally call me a liar and be justified about it. I am going to lie to him and tell him that you have been a great support system to us, that you’ve done nothing but good things, and that we hate not living closer. I don’t ever want him to know the truth.I have lied to other people, too. I belong to a support group and I've lied to them because when I hear stories about how their family members have acted and how supportive they've been, I feel ashamed for them to know the truth about some of ours.

Now, please stop writing. It is making me sick and when I can't even enjoy my bubble bath I have to draw the line. Pete ignores you for the most part because he says it won’t change anything. I have tried to because I actually like his sister and this has nothing to do with her and I don’t want things to get worse for her. But you have attacked us one too many times. He might not say what he wants to because of family ties, but I don’t have those. If you have ever seen a movie that depicts rednecks and hillbillies then you know how crazy we can get. I suggest that you not tempt us any further. It’s getting to the point that I am developing a bad taste in my mouth for English people and that’s too bad because I’ve always had a thing for Colin Firth. I don’t want that tainted.


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