2015 is really the year of the super bumper lottery where family is concerned. I am cocooned most of the time in my little hole, surrounded with just the people I want to be around. I love my family and friends, but most of the time, unless it is of utmost importance, I cannot see myself driving half around town to meet anyone, neither do I travel much to attend social occasions out of town. In that sense, I have become like K, a bit of a loner.
So I don't see my niece and nephew for ages, I didn't see my god son for almost four years and such like. That's the only time I feel guilty. I have almost no guilt skipping weddings and funerals and myriad birthday parties and anniversary thanksgivings. Folks have stopped inviting me too unless the occasion is really important, I really don't mind, because it unburdens me of whatever little guilt I may carry.
It is just the beginning of April and we have had both sides of the family visit us for extended periods of time. In february, K's uncle and aunt who have moved from gujarat to a town in AP and come quite often to hyd to stay with my MIL and FIL came home for lunch. As is customary, the conversations are loud and happen at many levels, everyone is yelling and talking too fast and too much. All this excites Sage too much and with that K begins to lose his marbles. That one lunch, tho the food was great and everyone appreciated the effort, was so harrowing, because it was like a drunk party I had no control over, I had to take a pill and lie in a dark room for an hour to start breathing normally.
Amma was here with me from Jan to the end of March. And as a pleasant surprise, my brother, SIL with the two kids in tow decided to come visit me for a week. I'll admit I panicked. I am not used to being in close quarters with the sibling, and boisterous kids around the house, no matter how much I love them were not what the doctor ordered for Sage. Anyway, I set my reservations aside because I felt like a super bitch and embraced the situation. So once the groceries were bought to take care of 5 adults and 2 kids of varying needs, logistics of who sleeps where was sorted, I was able to actually enjoy the company of my family. It was after ages that we were all under one roof and I regret not taking a picture of us all. Two days in a row, the brother and family went to stay with my SIL's cousin, so that gave me a breather. At the end of their stay, when it was time for them to leave, I got teary eyed. I missed braiding my not so little niece's silky hair, holding her hands on walks and having her look at me with adoration. When Amma left with them, the silence was almost unbearable for a couple of days.
Last week, the brothers of my FIL with their wives visited from chennai. Although they were here for a very short time, this was their first visit to our home post our wedding and I have been married to K for a decade! We had them over for lunch and it was all good. They left yesterday and I was hoping my MIL had a quiet day to rest and recover. We managed to take a nice family picture and everyone was so happy for it.
What strikes me is how much we are loved even when we don't bother to keep in touch. That most of the affection we see is genuine and really well intended. They do cramp our style, but to adjust and give in for a few days every couple of years to keep them happy isn't so much of a sacrifice. K's uncle for instance, he misses him, genuinely. He is the son they don't have and that he chooses not to be in touch pains them. But they respect his need to be distant and don't say anything. So yesterday when he spent some time with them, their teary eyes really tugged at K's heart strings. He resolved to spend more time with them and keep in touch more.
I spoke to the mother of my best friend a few days ago. Recently widowed, she is a person who genuinely cares for me. I had been meaning to send her our old car to use, it had been repaired and ready since jan, something or the other came up and honestly I have been so lazy about it. I kept putting it off. Telling myself that I would personally go and give it to her in some grand gesture. I finally snapped on saturday and asked the driver to deliver it. Ashamed at how long it had taken me to do it when actually it was a few hours of work. Aunty called and over tears thanked and then blessed me. I felt so small that I hung up hurriedly, unable to acknowledge whatever I was feeling.
I am at the point where I am overwhelmed by the love and guilty of it being undeserving at times.