Tuesday, November 05, 2013

More than a sweater

It's been almost four years since Aunt Marie died.

Her daughter, Emma, still has the hardest time with that. Not that it's particularly easy for anyone, but Emma is just so pissed off. So, so angry. She takes it out on everyone, but on her father and her sister the most. My mom is a close third; Emma likes to lash out on my mother because my mom won't engage her. She's calm, where Emma's father and sister meet her venom with venom.

Emma is 23. She isn't a kid but she still takes a tremendous amount of my mother's energy. My mom is as close to a mother as she has. She leans very heavily on my mom. She did long before Aunt Marie died.

She takes a lot of my energy, too. That's why I practically started to cry when I saw her overnight bag at Mom and Dad's house on Saturday night. Because I knew that I would have to entertain her. And I understand that it's part of the deal, that it comes with being a part of my family. But I just don't feel like I have a whole lot of fight in me right now.

With such a limited supply of energy, it's hard to want to spend it on Emma.

"I stopped by my dad's house but he wasn't home," she told me when she arrived at the house on Saturday night. Emma's been living with my grandparents because it's closer to her job. Also because she can't get along with her dad. "There is this sweater of my mom's that I've been meaning to take for a long time."

It was a sweater that my aunt bought in Norway when she went there with her mother and her sisters.

"I went in the closet and all of her clothes were gone. Everything! I called my dad about it. He said it gave it all away two weeks ago."

If that's true -- I have a hard time determining what is true and what is not when it comes to their family -- it's pretty shitty. My aunt owned a lot of really beautiful things. I know there were a few things that had been earmarked for me.

Emma wasn't raging when she told me this. She was actually pretty calm. (She saved the fit for when she told my mother.)

"So I took her ashes. They're in my car."

She was pissed at her father so she hijacked her mother's remains.

SHE STOLE HER OWN MOTHER'S ASHES.

How do you respond to that? What do you say?

"At least bring her inside, Em."

Aunt Marie is currently sitting on a table at my mom's house.

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