An old friend of my mother and first stepfather died, I got an e-mail from an old college friend of my first stepfather notifying me. The old friend, incidentally, was one of my biggest idols in my young impressionable youth, before I moved on to different idols or role-models. He got me into coding, he got me into computer games, he got me into thinking creatively about computers and pulling software apart to make it do what I want it to. He tried to get me to break into a game before I could play it, and other learning exercises. I wouldn't be the geek/coder/thinker I am today if it wasn't for him, even though he was just some guy renting a room in my home for a while. He got me into Big Trouble in Little China, Mad Max, and was just as big an influence on my brother.
My mother/first stepfather used to game with this couple, I'd end up hanging out with their kid often, or gaming with them...... They went to renfairs together, etc. They drifted apart, but their son continued in my life as being the person who hit on every woman I slept with from his hometown. Every time I slept with a Metuchenite, they later talked about this guy chasing them and begging them.
The mother/wife who died, I knew her well from the age of nine or ten until the age of thirteen. I mostly remember staying in their mobile home in the woods that they kept for summer weekends, and how their relationship with my parents fell apart, and how her husband almost killed his son when he got a sword from my parents. A bunch of the D&Ders put the sword in a big 'stone' of styrofoam, and had everyone 'try' to get it out, whoever got it out would win, letting him win so he'd get a claymore he wanted. He was so excited, he almost beheaded his son. My mom/first stepfather got involved with a self-help style group that aforementioned role-model's girlfriend worked for, and I even participated in one of the events. Around that time the family drifted from mine, me hearing from their kid the horrible things they were saying about the program to their son. I remember thinking they were narrow-minded and foolish, even back then, for thinking that a self-help group that was getting my mother to take control of her life was such a horrible evil duplicitous organization. It made them happy, they weren't shaving their heads and hanging out in airports, what was the harm?
I'd feel wierd attending. I mean, "Hi, I'm the asshole kid that hasn't talked to any of you, child of the people who either A) ran off to Montana or B) ran off to New Hope to become a phone-less hippy who never sees or contacts anyone, who's prospect of showing up at an event seems to be a running gag. I know my parents and her fought before she left my life, I know that your kid and I have exchanged violent words when last we spoke eight years ago, but hey, here's flowers."
Part of me just hates people like me... like the Christmas/Easter churchgoers, or the people that say "Hi!" and send flowers now that she's dead, instead of during the past year's battle with cancer that I just find out about now in the email. People like my dad, who only returned to his family after both of his parents died, me not knowing I had a set of living paternal grandparents until their funerals. People that are fairweather relatives/friends, which lately I've been to an amazing extreme. I've been a big bastard in that regard, keeping distance from all family after one family member betrays me by passing private information to another family member. Maybe if I had kept in better contact with people, I'd have known about her battle with cancer, I'd have known a bit more about things..... maybe. But who do I stay in contact with? My first stepfather has no phone and doesn't stay in contact with any of these people. They invite me to camp and RenFair with them, but I've been unable to go every summer due to work or finances or transportation or other silly little details. And it's not like my sweetie would partake of that part of my old life.
Oddly enough, the night of the memorial service one of the people their son tried to bed whose virginity I took, much to his bitterness, is staying over my place. She's an old fuckbuddy and now dear friend. Small world after all.