Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bringing children into a fight...

Some of you may remember my decision a few weeks ago to cease contact with my older sister. This decision came after years of a silent (and not so silent) battle that made our relationship feel more like a war than a sisterhood.
Never did I imagine my decision would have four innocent victims.
My sister has three children and it never occurred  to me that any problems she and I have would ever include the three of them or Savannah. They have nothing to do my reasons behind wanting to shield myself from long ago resentment and hatred.
So as I've been doing my Christmas shopping I bought gifts for my nieces and nephew... things they've asked for on their department store wish lists. 
Imagine my surprise last week when Mama told me that Shannon has refused her children to accept these gifts... and said if I send them she'll return them to us. She asked that we give the three gifts ... two video games and an Etch-A-Sketch... to Toys for Tots or some other charity.
First of all, I don't think it's appropriate to give video games to a charity... those gifts go to children who are probably too needy to have personal video game systems. Second, Pat and I have already bought gifts for an Angel Tree child in honor of Julius and he's too young to play with any of these items.
Shannon's decision reminded me of a childhood memory that I've always wished I didn't have... we were visiting a relative for Christmas and they were talking about how lazy my Daddy was because he stayed at home while my Mama worked.
Hearing them talk about my Daddy in that hateful and hurtful way has always stuck with me and has been a sore spot for me when it came to this relative. I decided  then and there that whatever personal issues I had with someone wouldn't involve their children.
I've given a lot of thought as to what to do about this... and then only thing I could do was ask my Mama and other siblings to open  their gifts from us before Shannon and her family come over on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
I would rather her children think we didn't send anyone anything than to realize there are no gifts under Grandma's Christmas tree from Aunt Sharon and Uncle Pat for them. 
It saddens me to think they would be impacted by my decision, but it strengthens my resolve that I've done the right thing by ending contact. 
It's another sign of the resentment and hatred I don't need or want in my life.

1 comment:

Megan said...

That is really sad. I know you'd want to give those children gifts because you love them and they are your family, regardless of your problems with their mom. It is sad that things have to be so complicated sometimes, especially around the holidays.

Mickey and I have an Angel Tree kid too, and your post reminded me that I need to drop off my gifts soon!