If the stuffing doesn’t kill her now
LINCOLN, NE–Over the past several years, the Luther family has seen its once-huge gatherings become ever smaller. A decade ago, it was not uncommon for the five brothers and sisters and their children and spouses to come to their parents’ home at least monthly.
“I guess everyone has gotten pretty busy,” says John Luther, the 46 year-old son, and oldest child, of Frank and Betty Luther, “Plus, with three kids, two with my first wife, we have several different sets of grandparents to visit. Holidays are some of the most stressful times of the year.”
Add to that the fact that most of the family agrees that Cynthia (Luther) Minor, the middle Luther child, is married to a worthless layabout who has been drawing disability for over six years after suffering a back injury at the foundry, and it becomes more clear why these family gatherings have become far less frequent.
“Cindy’s kids are no cup of tea either,” says Mark Luther, the youngest, “The older boy, Ted, got expelled from high school for selling prescription pills. Plus, the kid’s 18 and has been screwing around with a 14 year-old girl. That’s rape, by any definition. But Cindy acts like the kid’s an angel.”
To make matters even worse, Betty Luther insists on cooking a feast each year, refusing help from any of her children or their spouses, then spends the entire meal and visit describing in detail the amount of work she’s put in for everyone else’s benefit.
“Did someone say martyr?” says Ashley Luther, Mark’s wife of seven years, “Jesus, you’d think she has devoted her life to feeding starving children. None of her kids are starving. Cindy sure isn’t missing any meals.”
Nowadays, the family only comes together on major holidays, but those gatherings are becoming more sporadic. The last time all five Luther children and their families were at their parents’ home was following the funeral of Grandpa Luther six months ago.
“That was actually nice. People were civil,” says Frank Luther, “I hated to say goodbye to Dad, but at least we all got along.”
As the meal ends and the clan begins to leave, there are stiff and awkward hugs, along with hollow-sounding compliments about someone’s new hair style. Someone mentions everyone getting together again soon, but the comment hangs in the air, unanswered. Finally, John Luther suggests they all get together when Grandma Luther dies, to which all agree.
“I guess Christmas is coming up pretty soon, but I don’t know who all will show up,” John says, “If everything’s equal, I would rather the next funeral be Cindy’s kid, Ted, but it’s probably gonna be Grandma. Either way, it will be nice to see the family again.”