I didn’t get around to posting this last week – but I finally put the binding on the “ugly quilt” and none-too-prettily. It’s now officially finished more than 10 years after I started it. I’ve got some other finished items coming this week to share as well – at least one, hopefully two. Now that this quilt is off my sewing table, I can return to my daughter’s graduation quilt when I find a spare evening or two. I am going to pay to have hers quilted so it’s just the piecing and binding which I far prefer (especially in summer, quilting is hot and heavy work) – and I’m using a very simple pattern so it should come together pretty quickly on my end.
I’m feeling a bit burnt out on my return from Victoria – not so much from the trip, as from the fact that I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening drinking wine in the backyard – but I suppose it’s true that I’m always a bit bruised when I leave my family. This visit went perfectly well, but as usual I had at least two things to process on the bus ride home. One of those things was the fact that it’s become increasingly apparent that although my parents have always avowed that they would split things evenly between my brother and I in their wills – that is clearly not the way it is going to work out in the end – and in the meantime they pretty much allow him to live for free and give him and his family continuous costly gifts. And yes, I know it is their money to do what they want with, and I am not hard up in any way – but it still feels raw because – symbolism. He’s the son, with the grandson, and so therefore….. To be fair, my mother would like to change things about the distribution of assets, but my father won’t agree – so what are you going to do with that?
What I am going to do with that is work on my feelings around it so that when the time comes (far in the future, I hope) I have truly expunged myself of the “second arrow” – the feelings arising out of this situation – so that I can unselfishly celebrate my parents lives and my brother’s family without hindrance. Because this has nothing to do with having enough or not having enough and everything to do with the family story that I live inside and tell myself and act out against. And I know better!
But it’s also true in my family that wills are tricky things that get discussed a lot, with implications around what one would or wouldn’t get depending on this or that – and in my mom’s family there was a lot of cutting out and adding people back to wills – including her brother who was disinherited at the behest of another sister. On the surface, this all appears to be about putting affairs in order, but after all these years I’ve come to see the kind of emotional control and expectation that gets exerted around these conversations. In my defense, I’m all wired to react to this from a lifetime of training.
So I need to terminate the conversation in my head (the one where I document all the things that clearly “prove” my lack of worth in my family) and move on. Stop worrying about what seems “fair” and forget about what will or won’t happen at some future date. Bring an end to my ideas about what should or shouldn’t happen. In other words, finish the damned project and bind it off. If only it were as simple as the ugly quilt.