My sister was the driver in a horrific car accident that killed her best friends. The couple left behind “Emily,” a 1-year-old. Emily has grandparents who love her and care for her, but my sister insists she is basically Little Orphan Annie. She spoils Emily outrageously. Emily has been to Europe four times and Disney World a dozen. Her birthdays, hosted by my sister, are scripted events with party planners. Emily can barely add something to her Amazon wish list before my sister buys it for her.
I have four children. My sister sends them $100 on their birthday and for Christmas. She sees them at our parents’ home but hasn’t offered to spend one-on-one time since she babysat for a week while my husband and I went on our second honeymoon. My daughter has asked me why her aunt doesn’t like her as much as Emily. I have tried talking with my sister, and she dismisses me, saying Emily “needs” her. I finally snapped and told her she needs Emily because she feels she killed her parents. The accident wasn’t her fault, and taking Emily to Disney World again isn’t going to bring them back, but she is alienating her actual nieces and nephews. My sister went quiet, then told me to go die and then we can compare Emily’s situation to my children. Until then she was done with my “greed.”