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Woman Uninvited Terminally Ill Niece From Son's Birthday Party Because Her Mom Only Talks About Her Illness

Photo: ESB Professional / Shutterstock
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Family gatherings can either make or break close relationships among family members. One woman on Reddit is proving this to be true. 

The woman claimed that she was forced to uninvite her sister from her son’s birthday party due to her sister’s habit of shifting the focus of significant events toward her and her family, which has posed a problem in the past. 

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The woman has a terminally ill niece, and her sister only talks about her illness at family gatherings. 

Sharing her story on Reddit's, r/TrueOffMyChest, subreddit the woman explained her decision to uninvite her sister and asked other Redditors if she was being cruel. 

Shen began her post by sharing that she is throwing a party for her son’s upcoming seventh birthday. 

“We're throwing him his first big birthday party that will have both friends and family,” she wrote. “He's so excited for it.” 

Several family members were included on the guest list, her sister, her brother-in-law, Adam, and her eight-year-old adopted niece, Evie. 

Since she was a toddler, Evie has suffered serious health complications and illnesses that are impacting her life expectancy. 

“When she was two, Evie was diagnosed with a string of medical conditions and health problems. Some are more serious than the rest,” the woman wrote. “She's in and out of the hospital and they have been warned her life might not be long if they cannot manage all the various health problems Evie has.” 

The woman shared that Evie’s illnesses were a “huge blow” to her sister, brother-in-law, and the rest of the family. 

While she recognizes the hardships her sister faces due to Evie’s health, she says that the topic is something her sister often discusses with others at inappropriate times. 

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Other family events have been overshadowed by the woman’s sister bringing up Evie’s health. 

“Two family weddings were taken over when my sister brought up how sick Evie was, and alluded to the fact she did not have long left (despite her assuring the family on a number of occasions that things were not that bad),” the woman wrote. 

Their brother was especially bothered by the fact that his wedding had turned into a somber occasion after what was meant to be a joyous one. ‘

“One minute the happy couple are the center of attention and the next people are talking about how sad that he has a terminally ill niece and the focus moves onto them,” the woman shared. 

“She even made a big deal of talking about Evie's health during the toast and it sounded almost like she was asking someone to start a crowdfunding thing for them to pay for treatments, without outright asking that.” 

The woman added that her sister has brought up Evie’s illnesses at other weddings, birthday parties, block parties, and baby showers. 

“It's a lot and every time it feels everyone ends up sad, depressed, and uncomfortable,” she wrote. 

“With my oldest son's party coming up, I felt like this was something I needed to try to prevent.” 

She asked her sister to refrain from discussing Evie’s health with other guests at her son’s upcoming party so that the focus could rightfully be on him and his big day. 

“I told her I do not want the whole party to become about Evie being sick again,” she wrote. 

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However, the woman’s sister became defensive. “She told me she's not going to pretend everything is okay if people ask and that it's important to make it known so people don't try to push her too much.” 

The woman felt as if she had no choice but to uninvite her sister and her family from her son’s party if they could not comply with her rule.

Her decision was one that her sister took to heart. 

“She accused me of not caring about Evie being sick because she's adopted, and said I would be more understanding if Evie was my biological niece,” the woman wrote. 

“She also told me I was an a–hole for trying to gloss over the pain they feel and for excluding them when they live in h–l every day.” 

Redditors supported the woman and understood her decision. 

“Since she brought this up in a highly inappropriate wedding toast, she IS going to bring this up at the party. I would just uninvite her at this point,” one user commented. 

“Maybe, they need to grieve or something, but looking for the spotlight on the back of Evie's medical needs in every situation is too much,” another user pointed out. “I would suggest smaller get-togethers so they can work on not making that the top topic for every event.”

“There’s a time and a place to discuss these things and taking joy away from others is wrong,” another user wrote. “Everything about her behavior disregards anyone else’s feelings entirely and it’s not okay.” 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.