Actually, I can't leave it like that. I need to write about the row with my Mother. My own judgment in these things is a little suspect at the moment, so I'd appreciate another view.
I have spoken to my Mother on the telephone perhaps twice since last I saw her (at Ann's funeral). She called about a month ago to say that she was organising a party; and she called again today to ask whether I would be there. I told her that I would not.
But I had better go back a little. There is some necessary ground to cover.
Although it wasn't always so; my family is a mess. For reasons I don't fully understand, like some shredded, civil war casualty, it now only hobbles painfully, supporting it's fractured limbs on crutches of superficiality.
There are a number of different rifts. The most relevant for my purposes today is that which exists between me and my thirty-year-old niece. We haven't spoken since we argued at Christmas four years ago. The cause of the particular argument is unimportant. There had been a little tension between us for some months (concerning her attempt to undervalue a house she was retaining following a failed relationship). In any event, I said something which upset her; and she threw a glass of wine over me. I apologised later that evening, but...
When Ann fell ill, my niece remained entirely aloof.
And when Ann died, she refused to send either flowers or a card.
My Mother has invited my niece to her party and seems surprised that I am therefore refusing to attend. I, in turn, expressed my surprise that my Mother would sanction my niece's behaviour by inviting her at all.
How silly this all seems, now that I have written it. How very trivial.
But it has upset me.