We called her Dragon Lady.
We mocked her love for ugly rooster adorned objects. In fact, we had a rooster tile that we use to pass around the family at Christmas time and laugh when she didn’t get the joke.
She once told a room of strangers that the best way to tell me and Kelly apart was to look at our faces. Mine was fat.
She used to ask my mom what her and my dad possibly had to talk about since he never went to college (as revolting as the thought is, I always wish my mom had said that they don’t need to talk during sex so it didn’t matter).
She belittled my family as often as possible, and constantly bragged about how wonderful her children and grandchildren were.
She lied about her age. She subtracted 10 years from her age, and it wasn’t until almost 20 years later that anyone knew how old she really was.
She got cancer, and then got incredibly ill. She had round the clock nurses, and my granddad was forced to care for her because her family was nowhere to be seen. He himself is in his 90s and dealing with stomach cancer, but put all of that on hold to take care of her.
Today she died.
I would love to say that I was sad when I heard the news. I would even love to say that I was surprised. We all knew that this was coming, and the first thing that I thought of was, “Now granddad is free! Now he can take care of himself. Now he can go see the Crazyhorse monument because he doesn’t have to be tethered to her care.”
In truth, I felt nothing. I am glad that she is not in pain anymore, and not miserable. I am glad that the stress and suffering that came with taking care of her is over, but other than that, I felt nothing about hearing the news. I am having a large internal debate today on whether or not I should be more sad, and whether or not my reaction to her passing is okay. I did not like her, and in the last five years have seen her maybe twice. Should I be sad? Should I offer to do things for my dad should he need it?
Feelings. Sometimes they suck.