I polished the silver salt and pepper shakers until they shone. Carefully washed the kindness cup. Pulled out the good notepaper and a wrote a note. I explained that the salt and pepper shakers belonged to my grandmother, they had seen many happy family celebrations and holidays; I hoped they would see many more at a new table. The kindness cup was given to my mother for her wedding, from a favourite aunt. I hoped for kindness for both of them.
I tucked the letter in the box, I wrapped it myself, tied it with ribbon. Signed a card. I’ve already arranged for delivery.
I’m not going to the wedding. I wasn’t invited. My eldest nephew and his now-husband have refused to talk to me for 2 years. I don’t know why. I’ve asked. They simply won’t talk to me.
I struggled, you know. I didn’t want the present to be passive aggressive. I didn’t want to upset them, to mar their day. It will be delivered after the wedding. The note asks no questions, just explains the history and wishes them joy and happiness.
I wanted to go to this wedding. I have wanted it for as long as I have known this together. There’s an asterisk when I tell anyone that I have 12 nieces and nephews – the part I don’t say. The part where I did something so unaccountably terrible that someone cut me out of their life without a word and I do not understand why. I have 12 nieces and nephews, but one of them doesn’t want me.
The role fo the self-chosen aunt can be dicey. I’m not family. I get that. I don’t get cards for aunts day. They are never here for Christmas. I’m not especially special. I get that.
A smile on my face when I saw a wedding photo on Instagram.
Wishes for joy and happiness.
A cup of kindness, yet. For old time’s sake.
It seems like the least I can do.