Sunday, November 9, 2008


Friday was my grandmother's 90th birthday (this was the third year in a row that P and I celebrated a grandparent's 90th birthday). We went down to her place (45 minutes away) yesterday for a surprise party to celebrate. We thought it was going to be the three of us, my brother and SIL, my mom and stepmom, and my stepmom's dad. We were thrilled to arrive and see that my uncle had flown his entire family up from South Carolina to celebrate -- him, my aunt, their two sons (my cousins), my cousins' wives, and their five boys, ranging from ten months to ten years in age. We never get to see them. So instead of having seven people from four generations, we had the same four generations but eighteen people -- all of my grandmother's descendants. It was awesome. My grandma cried.

Of course, because it's my family and nothing ever goes as it should, my grandma barely got to see my cousins and their families. My mom and stepmom had planned the party, and they planned it expecting only seven people. When my uncle called on Thursday to say that he was flying the family up, they claimed it was too late, that they didn't have sufficient notice to change the number of people on the reservation with the dining hall at my grandma's old folks home, so they would have to wait around and see her later in the day, after the party which was to be at lunch.

Seriously? They flew here from SC. I get that there are issues (many, many issues). I get that the dining hall may have said they couldn't make it work. But there had to have been a better option than proceeding with only half the family. If it hadn't been sprung on P, my brother, my SIL, and I by my mother at the last minute (i.e. when we arrived), we could have come up with a better plan, even if it meant doing takeout Chinese or sandwiches from the grocery store in my grandmother's apartment (my grandma won't leave the home anymore). I'm sure having us all together would have meant much more to my grandmother than getting to eat a hamburger and pick at a piece of cake at the dining hall ever could.

By the time we were back from lunch, the ten month old needed a nap, as did my grandma (Harry, on the other hand, slept the whole way there, in heavy traffic, and slept through much of lunch). They kept the baby up as long as they could, but eventually had to bring him back to the hotel -- 45 minutes away -- for his nap. And so my cousins and their families barely saw my grandmother. Ugh. Thankfully, we (me, P, my brother, and my SIL) got to hang out with all of them while my grandmother napped (my mom and stepmom left right after lunch). And my aunt and uncle got to have dinner with my grandma.

The situation makes me incredibly sad. I hope my uncle knows that it had nothing to do with my generation, that we felt truly terrible about it all. I didn't want to say anything in front of my grandmother but will probably give him a call this week to let him know how good it was to see him and how bad we felt about the whole thing. Why does there always have to be drama?


Jen said...

Isn't there always drama at family events? I know we always have it.

It is awesome that your grandmother got to see that side of the family, even if not as much as everyone would have liked.

Nicky said...

That's ridiculous. It really shouldn't be that hard.... Glad you at least got to spend a little bit of a time as a family!