When Gracie died, our parents had no idea what to do for us. None of them had ever been through miscarriage, let along late term stillbirth and they were all just as lost as we were. Since then, they have tried to support us as they feel appropriate, but we have not asked much of them. We have asked them all to join us once a year for the October 15th remembrance walk, and we have asked them to participate in the March for Babies with us each year. We have asked them to participate in our annual Christmas Eve balloon release (which requires nothing other than walking outside and letting a balloon go into the air), and my MIL babysits for us once a month when we go to our support group meeting.
My MIL asked us a while ago (I'm not really sure when - maybe 6-12 months ago) how long we were planning to attend 'this thing' (our support group meeting) every month. Our parents have all donated toward our March for Babies team every year, but none of them have helped at all with our fundraising...not one penny. My father did not walk in our first March for Babies because of knee pain. Jeff's mother will not be walking this year because of medical issues. I will not fault either of them for this. Jeff's dad will not be walking with us this year for unknown reasons.
Since last year's walk, my father has had his own medical issues that have left him with moderate neuropathy in his feet that tends to get worse with lots of activity or walking. He informed me yesterday that he wouldn't be able to walk because of his neuropathy. I told him that I kind of anticipated that, and told him that the walk coordinator was still looking for more folks to man the refreshment break areas along the walk. I suggested that he consider this instead of just sitting around waiting for us, he consider helping at one of these break areas and he said that he would think about it. He followed that up with 'but I'll have to be done by 12:00 or 12:30; I have a 2:00 tee time with one of the guys from my Wednesday night league group." He mumbled something about this man not being able to make one of the league nights and using this round of golf to make up that time... My step-mom emailed me today to say that my father would not be attending the walk, so she will be coming by herself tomorrow. Somehow, I was not overly surprised. But, man, am I pissed and disappointed. Golf. He can play 18 holes of golf tomorrow (granted, he does ride instead of
walk) but he can't walk with us or even be bothered to help at a
refreshment station. He can't miss his tee time...even though he's known about the walk for several months. I got really upset when he missed on of my high school musicals without a reasonable explanation other than 'I forgot that it was this weekend", but that doesn't even compare to what I'm feeling today.
We don't ask for much, and when they bail on the things that we do ask them to do, it just frustrates and disappoints to levels that can't be described. Gracie is our daughter...she is their granddaughter....just as much now as the day she died and was born. Yet, it's moments like this that the 'get over it' mindset seems to be stronger than any other thought or feeling that they have... It's moments like this when I feel like enough time has passed that it still matters and is still important to just two people...