Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sticks and Stones

Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but sometimes wedding planning sucks.

I've mentioned before that there's drama in my family.  Suffice it to say that some members of my family used to be in business together and now they're not.  Where there used to be a big, relatively happy family, there is a lot of acrimony, a lot of anger, and a lot of silence.   Though I've tried to stay out of the fray as much as possible, when people you have known and loved all your life are firing grenades at each other, you are bound to get caught in the crossfire. 

One of these "grenades" came in letter form a few years go.  One family member sent a letter (by certified mail to ensure delivery) to another family member proclaiming: "you all are dead to me."  Being a member of the group that was now dead, I can tell you that it's hard not to take something like that personally. Tired of the conflict and the constant barrage of artillery, I gave up standing in the middle of the battlefield and chose to join in on the silence. 

About a year ago, Mr. Goodlaff's paternal grandfather passed away, and seeing him grieve for his loss brought up a lot of feelings for me.  I had family--alive and well--that I didn't speak to, and there he was, never being able to speak to his grandfather again.  After a somewhat tentative reconciliation, I was back to speaking with most of my family members, save the author of the letter.  Although I'm happy to be once again in contact with this side of the family, I'm left with an incredible amount of hurt and confusion over how family members can behave so cruelly and wondering how I should move on and rebuild relationships with these people, knowing what I know now.

Through this whole planning process, I've had this weighing on me.  This situation spills over into many aspects of wedding planning: the guest list, the seating chart, the flowers for family members, the family pictures.

I've recently been asked if I will be inviting the author of that letter to the wedding.  The answer is no.  To me, there's really no going back from "you all are dead to me."  Once those words are out of your mouth, you can't take them back--the reality is that the words hurt more than sticks and stones ever could.

I'm sure the proverbial shit will hit the fan over all of this, and I have no idea how this branch of my family will react.  There's a chance they will boycott the Goodlaff wedding, and I will just have to accept that.  The fact is, I don't want anyone at the wedding who wishes me and any part of my family ill (or dead); a wedding is supposed to be a joyous occasion and not a day for the next great Shakespearean tragedy to play out, live.

So, though it's really difficult, I'm going to stand my ground on this one and hope that everything will work out for the best. 

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