I wish I understood family.

Do you remember when you graduated from the little kids table to sit with the grownups? I reached that point last year. And I am happy for it. For the first time I have relationships with my two Aunties and my Grandparents as an adult. They don't rely on my mother to fill me in. They come to me. (It really helps since my mom and I don't speak.) Anywho currently my Grandparents health is failing fast. It's very heartbreaking thing for me as they are the only Grandparents I have ever had in my life. And they have always been there for me.
But I didn't always like them....
Growing up I remember hearing stories all the time about how horrible my Grandparents were. And how aweful my mom's older sister was. It got to the point where we could quote these stories by heart. When ever they came to visit we loved it! But afterwards we had to listen to our mom whine and moan about how horrible they were, and then were miserable. When we moved to Arkansas we got to get to know our Grandparents much better and I ended up falling in love with them. Whenever my mom told her old horrible stories I just couldn't put two and two together and come up with horrible Grandparents. It didn't make sense to me. I just got to the point where I figured somewhere along the lines they had changed and my mom would have to get over it. But her attitude towards them was so bad that even Seth didn't like the other family members. We would visit, and then the whole way home my mom would whine and complain and tell the dirty secrets and Seth was happy to see them as little as possible.
But last year changed everything.  I wrote a little something about the trip here. Seth, Caden and I went down to LA to visit with my Grandparents, and my mom's two siblings and their families. But one thing was different. My mother was not there. And we had the best time! I got to spend time talking with my grandparents and my aunts, Seth spent time with my Grandpa and my Uncles. And we were so relaxed and felt so loved. It was wonderful! Since then both of my aunts email me almost daily and I feel so close to them.
But now my Grandparent's health is failing. My family is planning a huge get together in a few weeks. Every family member will be there. Except we can't afford it. Seth has been really trying to get the money together, but his boss is majorly screwing him. I can't see any way. My aunts are begging me to come on my own if I have to. And here's the rub:
I think they feel that I'm not trying as hard because of the issues with my mom. And that's not it at all! I don't care if my mom had a hit out on me, if I had the money I would be there in a heartbeat. How do you explain to someone who doesn't have to worry about money that you simply don't have the cash?
And that's only one half of the issue. Going by myself, without Seth, scared the hell out of me. One of my aunts said she would run interference. But I don't know how to explain to them how bad she is? How do you tell someone that their baby sister trained her kids to hate you? My mom is the second oldest of 3. She has an older sister and a little brother. She always talked about how her sister was the pretty one. She had boobs and nice hair and a great figure and she had her parents wrapped around her finger. She got all the opportunities. Well now I am the oldest, and My sister is the second child. And since I was a teen and got boobs my mother has pitched us against each other the same way she feels her and her sister competed. My little sister doesn't see that it's our mom. She just hates me. (Sounds strong yes, but she has told me that on more than one occasion.) Going up there alone, is truly being alone. I don't know how to handle dealing with my mom and sister without Seth there to lean on. Because he knows the whole situation, has seen it first hand, and knows how to keep me calm. Even if I could find a way to explain this to my aunts and make them get it....Then I risk ruining any relationship they have with my mom. And even though it's a fake relationship...I wouldn't want them to lose what they feel is real.
It's my only Grandparents. And I will do whatever it takes to get to see them. But I'm scared to death.
And I don't know how well I will be able to hold all of this in for a few days on my own.

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