When Relatives Don’t Relate
I’ve always wanted family – lots of family.
I grew up in a family with a mother, father and two younger brothers. I wasn’t that close to the boys growing up. They were always so different and were in trouble most of the time.
I was the “good girl” who tried to keep things on an even keel all the time. The worse the boys got, the better I got. I saw it as my job.
The youngest brother ended up on drugs and in prison. I didn’t see or hear from him for many years before he died.
My next younger brother does not contact me ever. If I call him, he is glad to talk and seems happy to hear from me. But he puts no effort into any relationship with me. It is all up to me and so there is no real relationship.
My mother died very early in my life – when I was 29 and she was very involved in our lives. She was the one that kept the family together.
My dad remarried within nine months of my mother’s death and so we didn’t have very long to mourn my mother. It affected how we felt about our stepmother – always.
Because my husband and family lived in another state and because of my dad’s new relation with a new wife, he and I began to drift apart and spend less time together. Our relationship fell apart.
I remember him telling me when he had called to tell me he wasn’t coming for Thanksgiving after all, “Everything we need is here.” Well, that hurt!!
When my dad became ill, we patched things up and spent some good intimate time together. I was blessed to be present the last days with him and keep him comfortable with Hospice assistance.
My brother and I have made no such reconciliation.
I also have a son I haven’t seen in three years. We receive intermittent short curt emails from him that tell us nothing about where he is, how he is or who he is. He basically tells us he is alive three or four times a year but no more.
At this time, I’m not sure if he’s trying to be kind or trying to hurt us with his occasional words but no responses to our emails. I can’t be sure.
I have aunts, uncles, cousins I don’t know, don’t speak to and some I’m not sure where they are. This can’t be family! How do people have reunions with families as disconnected as ours? Well, they just don’t.
Our whole history just gets lost, that’s what! We lose all the stories, all the tales and remembrances, all the proud moments, all the silly acts. Everything is lost because no one is speaking to each other. No great things are happening because no one is getting together to do them.
Wisdom isn’t passed down from one generation to the next because youngers aren’t sitting on the elders’ knees and listening to the stories and the history being told.
But I now have a large family of six grandchildren that I received naturally and through adopting our niece as a daughter and her children as our grandchildren.
I have many close friends as sisters and brothers in my life, whom I love dearly. I have wonderful relationships with them.
I miss my two brothers very much. I miss the potential they had for being good brothers and never achieving that. I loved and lost two fine men in my life that never truly grew into real loving relatable men. What a loss!
I miss those years with my dad and I miss my son now. Lost time is lost time. It can never be brought back. It is gone forever.
The loss is a pain. The only relief is time with family members. It’s just that simple.
When they don’t want what you want, you can’t spend your life begging for it. You find relief elsewhere. You find family wherever you can.
It may be with present family members. It may be with previous family members that wish a renewal. It may be with strangers with a common interest and need. It may be with children that need exactly what you have to give.
So when relatives don’t relate, find people who do relate and make them your relatives!!!