The Ties That Bind.

This morning, my great aunt died. She was old, and sick, and had lived a very full life,  so it was not, in and of itself, a great tragedy.

But you know what is?

The fact that I never got to know her. And, because I didn’t know her all that well, can’t fully share in my mother’s grief. And she? Could use some comfort right now.

My mother loved my great aunt. Very much. But my grandmother (her sister) got angry with her over something. Maybe something trivial, maybe something big, no one remembers anymore.

But that anger turned into a grudge.  A grudge so strong that she refused to speak to her. A grudge so enormous that none of us were allowed to speak to her, either.

So my mom was cut off from the people she loved. She wasn’t able to include them in our family events as my brother and I grew up. I remember her only vaguely as a kinder, plumper version of my grandmother. Someone who laughed more frequently, and it seemed, forgave more easily.

And now she’s gone.

My grandmother can’t say she’s sorry, even if she wants to. She can’t get those years back. Can’t regain the love she threw away – the family she tossed aside.

It’s pretty damn stupid.

You only get one family, people. Some of us get good ones, some get shitty ones, but we all only get one.

One set of people that knows our history. Our neuroses. Our joys and half-forgotten pains.

One group that remembers when we still pooped our diapers, and who won’t hold it against us when we’re pooping our diapers again.

My grandmother? She’s 90. That’s pretty awesome.

But with every passing year, she alienates more and more people. Loses more and more friends.  Angers more and more family.

Soon, there won’t be anyone left.

What’s the point of living, if you don’t have anyone to love?

I hope I never find out. I wish no one ever did.

You only get one family. Make the most of it.

Proudly linking up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can’t Say today.



8 Comments on The Ties That Bind.

  1. Jennifer
    June 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm (4 years ago)

    My mother’s family has been ripped to shreds and no lies in tattered pieces. My grandmother held us all together, and when she passed the unity went with her. Some days it is very sad, but others it is nice to know that you don’t have to put up with a lot of misery for a little happiness. All families are different. Some are better together and some are better apart.

  2. Meagan
    June 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm (4 years ago)

    Life is short.

    Sometimes life being short is a good reason to cut toxic people out of your life. Sometimes, it’s a good reason to forgive & forget.

  3. Where is the ME in Mommy?
    June 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm (4 years ago)

    I have good family. I have shitty family. I love my family. We have straight jacket memories and events. They are so much fun. I agree–grab on to the craziness and hold on.

    On the other hand, is it wrong of me to not feel that way about a few in-laws? Seriously, if a couple of them disappeared I wouldn’t exactly mourn.

  4. Charlotte
    June 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m so very sorry to hear this. And you are absolutely right… we only get one family. It’s a shame to throw it all away for a fight no one will remember one day.

    I fight with my family often, too. We are far from perfect. But I would hate to be frozen out of everyone’s life one day.


  5. Gianna
    June 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm (4 years ago)

    I know this seems alittle wrong, but whenever my kids are sad to leave a relative’s house (be it grandma or an aunt or a cousin or grandpa), I am always glad when they are crying because then I know they love each other!

  6. Andie
    June 14, 2012 at 3:22 am (4 years ago)

    Actually, I get a bit emotional with this post you have because just few months ago, I lost my grandmother too where we are not that close to her.. She was the only grandparent we had before and the one I knew..

  7. robin
    June 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm (4 years ago)

    I hate hearing about family’s that are torn apart…though mine is that way. I just hate it. I think back to what went wrong and I just don’t know. My grandmother is 95 and her health is failing. She is the only thing that keeps us all tied to one another. When she’s gone, I wonder if the rest of us will ever see one another…..I don’t know why people, specifically families just can’t get along.

  8. Shell
    June 18, 2012 at 10:50 am (4 years ago)

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    Family is complicated- and grudges can outlast our memories of why they started. It’s such a shame.


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