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Family Matters

It's been a while. When I go through difficult times, I tend to go quiet until it passes. I don't blog about highly personal matters and it's hard to find the inspiration to write about the small stuff when other things seems so substantial.
We got back from my in-laws last night. It took a grueling 5.5 hours to get back. Without traffic, it takes 3.5 which is tough enough. Ethan was a doll sitting still in traffic for over an hour in an oven of a car. He's always good when it comes to that sort of thing.
The trip to my in-law's was different than most. I spent the weekend playing family counselor. It started with my sister-in-law (the same one who was talking about me the last time I saw them). I walked outside to have a cigarette and found her crying with her boyfriend. I went to leave and she said to stay. She told me she was upset because her brother (who she hasn't been on good terms with for 5 years now) refused to come to come because she was there. She has been battling with his wife for years and he has taken his wife's side. I'll say this - his wife is one of the most awful people I have ever come across. I hate being anywhere near her. She is a toxic bitch. Anyway, I digress - We were there to celebrate her son's 18th birthday and her brother's refusal to show up really upset her. I listened, but didn't have too many pearls of wisdom to offer except that she should try to approach him away from his wife & try to carry out some sort of separate relationship (but this was nothing her boyfriend hadn't already suggested).
A while later, Wayne was inside talking to his nephew (the birthday boy) and when I came in, he said, 'Ask Erren what she thinks'. He explained he was thinking of dropping out of college to get a full time job. He's fed up with never having any money or freedom. I could see he was about to burst into tears so I took him by the hand and took him outside. I tried to talk him out of dropping out. I told him I did the same thing at his age and ended up stuck in a dead end job for years until I put myself through school much later in life. I assured him that if he missed this opportunity he'd be sorry later. I know my advise made no difference. his mind was already made up.
The following day, Wayne's brother came to visit with his bitch wife (sorry I just can't help it). Tensions were high over what happened the day before. Wayne's Mom (or mum) was ready to snap. I mentioned I wanted a Pepsi and she jumped to her feet and said, 'I'll walk to the shops with you' I knew at that moment there would be another discussion with a family member that needed to be heard. My mother in law told me how her blood was boiling over what was happening between her son & daughter. She wanted to give him a piece of her mind and if she didn't leave right then and there she just may have right in front of everyone including his bitch wife who would be sure to hold her grandchildren hostage over it. I listened and tried to validate her feeling with little to add. I am no expert in resolving family disputes. If I was, my father would be speaking to me instead of missing his grandson grow up.
I should point out that this has not been a roll I play in this family. They are not a family of talkers. Although, I do talk to my nephew about things every time we're together and I've always been aware of the tension with mt brother & sister in-law but have never had them talk to me about it. I avoided my brother-in-law every chance I got. I didn't want to get involved. If he breached the subject with me, I would have been in danger of telling him I thought he was an ass...
By the end of the visit, my mother-in-law cornered her son and told him how upset everyone was. She asked him to call his sister and he did. They formed a truce and with any luck, it will all work out.
I left feeling a part of the family. Although I'm close with my mother-in-law, I have never felt like a part of the family. As odd as it was to be such a big part of things this weekend, I'm glad it happened and I'm glad I was able to help in some small way.

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