If we drive four hundred miles to attend a high school graduation, it's not good enough because we don't have a gift in hand. When we send a gift but don't attend, it doesn't warrant even two sentences on a Thank You note. There have been plenty of times when others have driven four hundred miles into our town, but there was something else on their calendar*. We were an afterthought**.
We recently got an announcement from somebody we haven't seen in ten years. I just didn't get it. I couldn't pick out the person in a lineup. Was it their attempt at trying to get a gift? When they moved into a new home, they invited all the rest of the family, but not Hubby and I. The last time they came over, I was explicitly told that they were in my house to be served. By me. I don't serve people my own age or younger if they are physically capable. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having people over. I want to serve people because I've invited them into my home and enjoy their company, not because I've been told to. There are some people that have been invited over and over, but I never get a response back. If it's me, then I wish they would just say so. I guess that's okay. After hearing "No" or nothing at all, the invites will just stop. No pressure.
Some people hold it against us if we seem to be doing better financially. Others hold it against us if we aren't doing as well. We're looked down upon, or we've somehow insulted someone if we offer to help. Is there a happy medium? To quote Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?".
The hardest part about family drama is what kind of affect it will have on my kids. Our family is pretty darn small already. Who will they turn to for special holidays and get-togethers?
It's no wonder we choose to replace family with friends. They include us in the good times and the bad. Sometimes even in the sad. They include us. Period. We all have a few good friends that put their hearts on their sleeve. They would drop everything to help us out in a pinch. It's almost as if they could be the brothers/sisters we weren't blessed with, until later in life.
If there's anything I value over material things, it's your time. I wish more people did as well.
God, grant me the patience and the grace to take things in stride. Life is short. I pray for loving relationships. Meaningful moments. I need special understanding for what seems the impossible. I pray for time not to slip away.
*This happens on my side of the family AND Hubby's. I'm not pointing at anybody specific. Hhhmm.... maybe it's me.
**Who am I kidding? We weren't thought of at all.