A walk with cousins
Everyone has a strange family, everyone. None of us are immune to it. Out family is small. We have Todd’s family who is basically his parents, his brother and his wife and then Todd’s aunt. Then my family consists of my mom, Ron, my sister and her family, my brother and his family and then my extended family through them. Then there is my father’s side of the family.

On Saturday we had a great time with friends. When we got home i got the mail and in it was a package from my aunt on my father’s side. She send me a few photos, some of our recent Christmas cards and cards with Katie’s photo on them, and a couple of odd things. There was no note to tell me what these items were. My first thought was that my grandmother had died.

When I was younger, and my dad left when I was 6, my mom made sure that we kept in touch with my grandmother. We went on vacation with her for a week or two up in northern Michigan. I have very fond memories of my years with her. Then I went to college near her and I was even closer to her. I went to see her often. Out to eat, phone calls, note cards, lots of good stuff. Quality times.

I was into quilting and my grandmother showed me a quilt her grandmother had made for her. I love it… loved it. When it was time for me to get married I had asked for nothing but this quilt. Hoping, praying that I would get it. Instead I got money… something that is now long, long gone. It did something to my relationship with her. Hard to explain, but I just lost something. When I asked, and trust me, you do not ask my grandmother these types of things, she said it was givne to my aunt, someone I don’t know. It really broke my heart and I don’t think i ever got over it.

Fast forward to now, 9 years later… She was put in a home 2 years ago due to memory issues. I haven’t seen or talked to her since then. I don’t know where she lives or her phone number. I have asked for it.

So this Saturday when I got the package I googled her name to see if she had died, but there was no news. So I emailed my aunt. She said that she was going through Grandma’s things and this was everything having to do with me and she thought I would like to have it. Ok, it was just odd. I wanted to write her back and tell her that she has no idea, none at all, what my grandmother meant to me. She will never understand what that quilt meant to me and why I wanted it or even that I wanted it.

I called my sister. My sister has never had a relationship with my grandmother but did have a relationship with my grandfather (they divorced when they were very,very young). But I know she knows the situation, our stiff aunt, and just how unfriendly that side of our family is. I told her all I wanted to email my aunt. My sister said to go for it… I was still unsure. I called my best bud, Amber. Amber had some good points. Don’t blame, but feel. Tell her my feelings and how things make me feel but don’t dig at her, because that can’t do anyone any good. I gave it a couple of days and talked to my sister today. My sister and I talked about it more and came up with the fact that it isn’t worth it. It isn’t worth responding or sharing my feelings with people that are so cold. I did, however, tell my sister that I am done with that side of the family. That I just can’t do it anymore. Pretend that we are something we aren’t. They are not my family. My family consists of very little number of people related by blood and a large number of people that aren’t related to me at all by blood. From my sister’s mom Jolan to my best bud Amber. From my internet biddy Meg, to my husband Todd. There are just so many people in between.

I have focused so long on the fact I do not have a lot of family, because I want Katie to have a big family, but you can’t invent blood relatives that don’t exist. But you can create a larger family with those that you surround yourself with. Friends from all over are an extended family that might not have once been possible. But with the internet and cell phones and so much connection these days in other ways than seeing face to face, it helps to connect us. I am grateful for these connection.

Positives today:
1) I got a foot and leg massage from Todd
2) I drank all of my water today
3) I got extra time to go get some things done that I needed to and I got them done
4) I bought a shirt for myself off the rack at Macy’s in the regular section
5) Katie came to snuggle with me right before she went to bed without me asking.


One response to “Family

  1. I am so glad you took the time to write out this story. I think that (at least for me) the hardest lesson in life is the letting go. If you want to contact this aunt in the future, you can. For now, I think it’s very wise of you to not expend yourself toward someone who is cold to you in return. It makes me sad that anyone, no less a blood relative, could treat you this way.

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