That being said...
A different set of challenges comes to someone that has the background that I do. A set of challenges I thought I was going to be able to avoid.
The father daughter dance is it's own animal...and I have already found a way to make that a beautiful part of the night instead of a sad part. I have overcome something that has deeply hurt me in the past.
I thought I had everything under control until this past weekend...when all of the calm attitude I had went to shit.
Going into this wedding I had asked my father's mother if she wanted to be included in the guest list for the wedding. Things have been so strained after everything my father did...I was torn as to whether or not I should include that part of my life in my new life. But I reached out because I felt it was the right thing to do.
Upon returning home from a trip...she responded to me and told me she couldn't travel anymore given her age. I tried to understand. I tried very hard...despite that she had just returned from my cousin's graduation in another state. She lived in Texas...I live in Ohio. I didn't give it another thought.
Until Saturday. On Saturday I saw pictures of her at a family home...just over 2 hours from where I live...with my cousins and their children. 2 weeks from my wedding. Two. Weeks. Two. Hours.
I was instantly infuriated and called my mother spouting profanities...as it is very difficult for me to understand how someone could not only be so conniving...but also so cruel.
What my grandmother did hurt me. There is no questioning that...I won't pretend to hide behind some smiling face of "it's ok, I'm stronger than that." Because I am hurt...it's not okay...and despite me being stronger than her actions...it's still wrong. There is NOTHING "okay" about her choices right now.
On the same note...essentially my father's entire family has chosen to miss our wedding. Minus one aunt that has also made an effort to be in our lives as long as I can remember. And for the record...I use the word "chose" very intentionally. There have been excuses as to why they can't attend...but at a certain point those excuses stop becoming logical reasons...and start to be just what they are...excuses. This wedding has been planned for a year and a half. The date was known...if it truly mattered to anyone...they would have been here.
And quite frankly...many of them haven't shown any interest in our daughter up until this point. They haven't shown much of an interest in general when it comes to our life together. The only person from my father's family to see our new home is the aunt I previously mentioned. The same one who stood by my mother 24 years ago...and fought for my best interest.
Back to the point...
I was angry. I was hurt. I was straight pissed the hell off when I saw the pictures of my grandmother obviously caring a hell of a lot more about my cousins and their children...than me and my girls.
I called my mom furious. Angry that I was missing out on the unconditional love a family should have for everyone involved. I was upset that yet again that family had basically told me they don't give a damn about anything I do now that my father is officially gone. I was mad that my choices to cut a toxic person out of my life had not only affected my relationships with multiple people...but had also taken my childrens' chances away at knowing their grandparents.
She helped me realize something though.
This is not my loss.
(Read that again.)
This is. NOT MY. Loss.
I didn't make this choice. They did.
If we don't mean enough for you to be around...we don't want you here.
I have a BEAUTIFUL family on my mother's side. A family that I'm afraid I sometimes take for granted.
In a matter of days they will be gathering from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY to be with us for our special time. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents, children (adopted, fostered, loved) will be here with us.
The definition of family will be displayed in less than two weeks.
Family that loves regardless the situation. Family that will be embracing all of us. Me, Superman, Munchkin, and our tiniest addition.
In this family there is no "exception." There are no qualifications to be included.
In this family...we are just that...family.
We love regardless.
We are there no matter what.
We celebrate the best parts of "us."
In a few days I not only get to see the people that I love no matter what...
I also get to celebrate the family I am creating. The family that will officially be "one" in 10 days.
I'm not losing out here.
My children aren't losing out here.
Everyone that chose to separate themselves and not make FAMILY a priority...
they are losing out...
and that's not my problem.