Post # 1
My aunty (let’s call her Aunty1) is the black sheep in the family and recently she has turned bitter and doesn’t speak to various family members for no reason.
We invited her to our wedding and it was assumed she would come (my mom/her sister often visits her as the aunty lives with their mom) and she said Aunty1 had planned to attend the wedding and would bring my grandma with her.
However on the day of the wedding, we found out that Aunty1 had decided not to go – without telling anyone and there were chaos on how to take my grandma to the venue. It was decided that my other aunties would take her – meaning the transport I had booked for them were no longer needed. With Aunty1 not attending, this also meant we lost costs in her meal (it was an expensive venue and she knew this as well).
She never sent me a message or letter to apologise, didn’t wish us well, nothing at all till a few weeks later I received a parcel from her. Inside it was a small gift and a note saying (this is word for word) – “Don’t ever think my non-attendance was anything to do with either of you” – still no apology for not turning up. I haven’t heard anything else since.
I spoke with my mom and grandma recently and she explained the reason Aunty1 didn’t go was because she didn’t want to talk to another aunty (one of her sisters). I was annoyed – this was our day and she couldn’t put their issues aside to come to the ceremony even for 5 minutes? We used to be incredibly close and Aunty1 was our favourite aunty but now she has destroyed relationships with our family with her rudeness and just not speaking to us.
Anyway drama aside, I’m sending out thank you cards to all our guests and even though I’m not speaking with Aunty1, I feel I should send her a thank you note for the gift. I’m a bit stuck on how to word it… “Thank you for your gift…” I don’t want it to be a one line either.
Post # 2
Thank you so much for the waffle maker! We look forward to using it for many breakfasts in the years to come. We missed you dearly at the wedding and hope to see you soon!”
Don’t get involved in your aunt’s drama but remember that relationships are a two way street. If she is having issues maintaining relationships in the family she probably just didn’t feel welcome. You obviously have no idea what happened between the two and her reason for not attending may have been very valid. It sounds as if she DID want to be there but maybe thought it be best if she did not get into it with your other aunt during your reception. I would also stop giving her the silent treatment, you aren’t five years old. If her skipping the wedding hurt your feelings, you need to talk to her about it directly like an adult. It sounds like she could really use an advocate in the family to figure out why she is having so many issues maintaining her relationships instead of just one more person who calls her a “black sheep.”
Post # 3
smalltownbigworld : Thanks – good start.
I agree with you, I am trying not to act petty which is why I want to send a thank you note as I would with any other guest.
Unfortunately we have tried to talk to her in the past but she just walks away, even if with someone she doesn’t normally have issues with so not sure what we can do as we’ve tried to get help but she will just snap at us every time. But yes, trying not to get caught up in the drama, just find it difficult to word the thank you note when things are a little awkward. Thank for that.
Post # 4
It’s hard not to get involved in family drama, but I second the PP and try to stay out of it. The drama with your mother and aunts should not be the reason that you no longer have a relationship with your aunt. It seems like your aunt does want to have a relationship with you; she sent you a gift for your wedding and acknowledged that it wasn’t you, but the drama, that kept her from the wedding. PP wisely suggested having an adult conversation with her. The childish response of the silent treatment is never going to solve any of your issues.
That being said, to answer your question – write the thank you note as you would to any other guest who didn’t attend but sent a gift. Graciously thank them, indicate how you will or have used the item, and then say that you mised celebrating with them but would like to catch up soon.
Post # 5
glitterandshine : what PPs said. Thank her for the gift, say you missed her and hope to catch up, and leave it at that. How you then choose to proceed in terms of the future relationship you have with her is up to you (I re-evaluated a number of relationships after our wedding), however, from what you have said I do think there are two sides to this.