Over time, I had pretty much lost touch with Janet. At first we had e-mailed almost daily, then a few times a month, and then she got sick (I believe she has MS… but it could be something else… my memory is a little fuzzy on that…) and I didn't hear from her for several months. After that our contact was sporadic at best. Still friendly and welcome, but just less frequent. In fact, (if I remember correctly), when I e-mailed her to tell her that Matt was born, she said that she didn't even know I was pregnant! So yes, our relationship had definitely dwindled. She had been very happy to hear about Matt, though, and had sent me a nice e-mail with an update on her children (I believe that they had 6—some naturally and some through adoption—but it may be more…) and her husband, etc.
And that was the end of our correspondence for another 7 months, when I got an e-mail from her that absolutely blew me away. She began: "Dear Katy, I don't know how you are going to react to this email but I've decided that I should just go ahead and tell you what's happening." She went on to say that she and Frank had "reconnected" and realized that they were still very much in love. They were planning to be married sometime in the next year. She assured me that I was very special to her, that Frank was very happy to hear about my family, and that she hoped we could continue to stay in touch.
I was absolutely taken aback. Sure, it sounds romantic—they were separated 30 years ago by the death of their child, then reunited and found that they still loved each other. Except for a few important details… Like the fact that he cheated on her over and over and OVER when they were together the first time. That he left her the day of their child's funeral. That he had been married three times before he had lived with her, and then been married five more times after that! Oh, and here's one you don't want to forget: She's married with several children!
It took me a few weeks to e-mail her back. When I finally did, I was very honest with her. I told her that this whole situation made me very sad. It was sad to me that she would leave her husband of so many years for any man. It was especially sad for me that she would leave him for this man. And I also recognized that I had very little room to offer any opinion—after all, they were both grown adults, and as connected as our lives had been in some respects, I had never even met either of them! The absurdity of my family tree was really staring me in the face at that moment.
And then I told her that I didn't feel that we could keep in touch anymore. After all, she was going to be living with this man who had all but told me to get lost. And as much as she claimed he had changed, he had made no attempt to contact or know me in any way. And through his relationship with Janet, he obviously knew exactly where to find me, not to mention the fact that he had two grandchildren. And yet I'd heard nothing—no congratulations, no apology, nothing. It was just too much.