What a week. I am still trying to wrap my head around everything that has happened. Remember when I said that one of Shawns sisters told me that she wanted things to change? She really meant it. They all seem to mean it.
It has been nearly 7 years of Shawns family not accepting me, picking on my kids, and making life hell. There were some sisters that were nice enough...N, and her husband W have always been nice enough. I even took the girls swimming at her house one time. It was a long time ago, because Mission Mary came with us. It must be three or four years ago. His eldest sis, K, was nice enough to me. I always suspected that it was because of the baby gifts that I sent her new born grandkids. She is close to moms age (both of them) so we have very little in common. Then there is Alex. She even gave me a birthday gift one year.
The real problems were with the three that always hung out together - Mona, Linda and Janet. I barely knew Janet, but because she was so close to the other two, she hated me. Janet and Linda kids picked on my kids. I do mean picked on. Lindas daughter came close to getting suspeneded in grade 8 for all of the grief that she caused Kayla.
Linda and I used to be next door neighbours. She actually encouraged me to ask Shawn out all those years ago. I guess that she thought that we would hang out a bit and that would be it. She never expected us to last.
Mona and I used to live in the same townhouse complex. Her son played wwith KC and Kayla when they were little. I bent over backwards for her. She was a single mom, and I knew what that struggle was like. I loaned her my cell phone when her youngest was a baby b/c she couldn't get a home phone. We babysat, we loaned her movies, and responded to frantic phone calls when she was having troubles with her boyfriend. I think that Shawn has helped her move three times - since we have been together.
It didn't matter. They all still hated me. I was never really sure why. I hadn't been rude, or intentionally hurtful to anyone. They just didn't want to let me in from the get go.
Mona and Linda made life hell for all of us, and Janet just went along for the ride.
Linda was the first one that I saw a change in. When we saw her at the hospital on the first day that Mary was admitted, I saw her crying. I just pulled her in close for a hug. What the heck else could I do? No matter what was said or done, this was no time for petty bulls shit.
Janet was the next one to freak me out. She spent about ten minutes chatting me up at the funeral home. I have not spent ten minutes talking to her in the past 7 years combined. I made her laugh, and I hugged her. It was all I could do.
Shawns mom referred to me as his wife, and the girls as his kids. In fact, the only time that I saw her smile was when Jessica came to the funeral home and gave her a big hug.
On Friday, Shawn went to see how his mom was doing. She put him right to work in the garden. Mona was there, and when she had a quiet moment, she approached him in the yard.
Now, this is the part that would have knocked me over if I had not been sitting already.
She apologized to Shawn. She apologized for being mean, for all of the problems that she has caused and for making problems for us....
When KC and went shopping later that day, we ran into Janet, Mona and Janets youngest daughter, A. (She is close to KC's age).
Imagine my surprise when I was greeted by a loud and happy "HI" from all three of them. These are the same people that would normally ignore us, or worse yet, mutter under their breath about me as I passed.
It seems that they are all so impressed by the way that I have handled myself since all of this has begun. I have been thanked, time and time again for all of the support that I have shown the family. Dunno why. That is just what you do. No big thing. We also got many compliments about the girls and the way that they behaved throughout all of this.
I am in shock. Seriously. I am so happy, but at the same time, I am afraid that it will all end. I really and truly want Shawn and his siblings be close again. His mom has just suffered the worst loss that anyone can suffer, and she deserves better.
Shawn is working with his brother this week, and there has been progress there, too. It just seems too good to be true...After 7 years of crap, can this be real?