We are broken so the light of others can get through, not to repair or fix, but to heal the pain and restore hope.
I was given two siblings from my parents.
I have a circle of friends, bestowed by God.
I was taught to be kind, love and take care of family. I have friends who act upon those lessons more than the ones I am related to by blood.
It was ingrained God comes first and family follows right behind. It is my friends whom I have adopted and whom have adopted me as family.
I have learned, through my years on this earth, who will actually show up when tragedy strikes. And, disheartening as it may be, I realize my siblings are too self indulgent to step up to the plate and care for anyone besides themselves and what is occurring in their lives. Despite the non-relation, my friends have continued to be there no matter what.
God gave my parents three children, resulting in two siblings. However, the only thing we have in common is nothing more than the fact we share the same parents.
God gave me a wonderful circle of friends. And the thing we have in common? Warm hearts, caring souls, strong shoulders of support and love to accept, no matter what or who we are.
To my siblings, maybe my expectations were too high, maybe I stepped up to the plate more than I should have or maybe my perception of what a family should be didn’t match your perception.
In the end, none of those things really matter after all. What matters is coming to grips with the reality you haven’t been there in the past, you weren’t there in June when Dad died nor when Mom had her stroke and I don’t foresee you being there in the future. As a result, and despite how hard and painstaking it is, I am choosing to take myself out of your lives, unless it is absolutely necessary to communicate with you. I wish I didn’t have to let you go. But your actions have forced me to make this decision. I guess you could say I am turning the tables on you and imitating you so as to put myself first. Which means, don’t count on me to show up for any family functions. (Course that means you would actually have to extend an invitation, which I would be extremely surprised at, especially after being told to f**k off and knowing you won’t be available unless there is an emergency. )
It’s was extremely sad to lose dad last year. What makes it worse, in choosing to extricate myself from you is the fact you are both alive. And I know, despite my decision, thoughts of you will often cloud my mind. However, having peace in my life far outweighs the angst I have experienced from both of you for years now. I am done making excuses for your behavior. As a result I am no longer willing to accept or settle for the lack of respect and caring you have expressed to not only myself but also to dad, when he was alive and dying and to mom. In some ways, I can’t see myself forgiving you for living a life of self centeredness. In the end, I don’t think it really matters what I do because what goes around comes around. And I know through trials with karma, when it comes a knock’in, it won’t be for a friendly visit.
To my friends, you walked in and have stayed by my side throughout every hard ball life has pitched my way. You are truly blessings. And without your love, your support and your constant caring I would not be where I am today. Thank you for showing me what family really is. It is wonderful to finally have a safe place to land where arms are open and home is not just a structure but a place to rest when my spirit gets weary, my hopes fade and my heart needs tender love and care.
And, to my siblings, it’s time to shut the door on the hope which seeps in now and again, wishing for things to change. I don’t want to walk away but I need to so I can wholeheartedly accept those God has strategically placed in my life. It’s time to give up the old and move on with the new. For I can no longer dwell over the loss of our relationship when I have just what I need to move forward.
How do we continue the camaraderie of community which will occur today?
And more importantly, how do we make it last for a lifetime?
Yesterday I was in Indiana. I stopped at a gas station, went in to use the restroom and noticed the sign above the restroom door. Let me paraphrase the gest of it…
The restroom is for customers only but you may just be here to use it. After you finish take a moment to browse around our store. You may find something you like and become a customer too.
Because I felt a bit guilty just stopping to use the restroom, I decided to see if there was anything in the store that struck my fancy. I noticed flags on the wall honoring all military branches, snacks, bumper stickers and a display of various baseball caps for $7.99. As I got closer I saw several with confederate flag material. I immediately left, deciding not to become a customer.
Then driving to a restaurant for lunch with my son, a truck turned the corner and flying from the bed was a confederate flag. My son commented, ‘Mom how stupid is that. Don’t they realize what it stands for?’
This past week, this same son told me he told me he thought things were getting better regarding racism.
And what needs to happen to change it?
I believe Martin Luther King said it best…
We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of LOVE into the veins of our civilization.
I actually posted this, last Monday, at my desk at work which is located in the lobby. Not one person had a negative comment about it.
This isn’t about taking sides. It’s about learning to live together so the history of slavery, the Holocaust, apartheid and other atrocities don’t get resurrected. But the way it’s going love and hope are getting buried under the rubble of violence and hatred. And if we aren’t careful, the world will eventually become a living hell.
“Love ya sister”
Three simple words spoken by the sister given to me from God.
“Love ya sister”
Three simple words I have longed to hear for a while.
“Love ya sister”
Three words offering healing to the pain, anger and resentment towards the one related by blood.
“Love ya sister”
Three spoken from the heart.
Love ya too my sister friend.
A couple of days ago, storms were brewing with excessive heat. Today, the weather is calm with cool breezes and sunshine.
Reminds me of life.
In the last few weeks, since my brother told me to ‘fuck off’, I have realized the many ways my feelings about him and my sister have been validated. I admit it has been EXTREMELY hard to accept the ones I believed I could depend on are not the ones who have been there. And continue not to be there.
Then, this morning, I was going through the missed calls log on my home phone. I found one from my sister’s number from May 30. I panicked then a tinge of concern rolled in then my senses took over as I realized there was no message left.
Hard as it is to admit, I still care for both my siblings. However the reality is and has been for years, a very one sided relationship. The words from my eldest constantly echo in my ears, “they’ve been like that for years, why do you think they would change now?”
I know my perceptions and expectations of what a family is should not cloud a relationship with my siblings. Yet the words of my sister friend, whom I have had several heart to heart conversations with, also echos, “we have a sense of what family is.” She also reminds me, on a daily basis, even though I voice I am through with any and all dealings with my siblings, the turmoil of accepting what is and what I desire is still boiling right below the surface.
Yes it is my choice to care for my mom. Yes in doing so I am putting my life on hold. Maybe I should be selfish. Maybe I should put myself first. Maybe I should date and go on vacations for a month and state how busy I am or how tired I am from working long hours or how I don’t have time.
Reality? I can’t. That’s not to say I don’t take time for myself. I do. But I am not the kind of person who believes in letting those people I love to drown in the sorrows of life. It’s not a payback because they have been there for me when I wasn’t able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel it is a natural thing that is done because that is what family members do.
Thankfully, I have never been alone in any part of whatever journey my life has been on. And God has put people in my life to help guide, support and love me not only through the storms but also through the sunshine.
I don’t know if the relationship with my siblings will ever mend. As time goes on the door keeps getting closer to being shut. I do know I am not alone. For that I am grateful.
Going forward I hope to reconcile with the anger and resentment I feel towards my siblings and replace them with the love I have been honored with from my family of friends. I also hope to fully accept the situation so I can continue to provide my mom with the loving care she deserves. The process is slow, to be sure. But I know if I follow my dad’s advice in taking one day at a time, everything will work out in the end. Time heals all hearts but sometimes having the right people in your life at the right time does so much more.
Dear Kathy Griffin,
I usually keep my feelings to myself regarding media hype. However, since I can’t get away from your story, as everyone and their grandmother is talking about it, I am going to voice some words of advice.
- Instead of forever whining, take responsibility by apologizing then shut your mouth and let the hype blow over.
- For now, yes, your career is momentarily over. But, in 3 months, no one will remember, let alone care, what you did. So do yourself a favor, pack a suitcase, book a flight and go someplace where no one knows you so you can relax and figure out out to put this incident behind you and start over.
- Next, time you decide to pull a “funny” stunt, gather a group of your closest friends and try it at first to see their reactions. Or, at the very least, think about the repercussions your actions could have.
And one last thing….quit playing the blame game. You are a smart woman. However you have only yourself to blame for ruining your life. If there is a lesson to be had from all of this, may you learn it so well, it is never forgotten.