Friday, November 18, 2011

Ties that bind

This tie was shot with an arrow.
The day my grandmother died I buried any association with her siblings and their children. I wish they would realize it. Recently her niece, Sota, sent me a friend request on Facebook. I should have known this day was coming. Several months ago she visited my parents. I made myself scare. Sota supposedly wants to get closer to me, but there is no love here. It went away several years ago.

My grandma had two brothers, New York and Nevada, and a sister, Sarasota. We were all extremely close with them and their children until I reached college. Then Granny started suffering from Dementia. Nevada came to visit a few times, to help at first he said. But soon he started saying my mom, who is Granny’s only child, wasn’t taking care of her. He even called the Department of Children and Families, who checked out the report but dismissed the claims of neglect. Don’t even get me started on how Nevada was looking for my grandma’s money and said he needed to be paid for visiting. No one told you to come! At the end of this fiasco, my mom told Sarasota she didn’t care to speak with Nevada again and wouldn’t tell him if something happened to my grandma.

After that something happened. Slowly but surely Sarasota, New York and their children stopped talking to our entire family, Granny included. In a flash we lost a whole family tree. It hurt me so bad. It hurt my mom worse. The aunt you called your second mom basically washed her hands of you, and right when you really needed her. Sota at one point even left a hateful message to my mom for no reason. Things got worse with my grandma, but they weren’t around. Thankfully my dad’s side of the family, my mom’s siblings and so many friends provided us support.

It wasn’t until the funeral that I saw that group again. Sota reached out to hug me when I started crying. New York tried to soothe my brother’s tears. All I could think was “Where were you when we needed you the most? She’s gone now.” My mother was cordial and spoke to them at the repast. I said not one blessed word. Even when several came to our house later, I sat in the garage avoided them. Don’t try to catch up on the four years of my life you missed. You chose to not be there. Sota has since reconnected with my mother. They aren’t best friends, but they talk. My mom even speaks occasionally to Sarasota.

To this day I still don’t really know what happened to make them abruptly cut off communication. My dad’s theory is Sarasota got upset when my mom said she wouldn’t tell Nevada if something happened to my grandma. She spread the word and everyone just wrote us off. What they failed to realize is their actions didn’t just affect my mother but several people including: my grandmother, who talked about them constantly, yet they never visited; my little brother, who was barely in middle school when it happened; and me. Family is one of the most important things in my life. I thought they were supposed to be the first ones there for you when times were rough. Yet, we received more love and support from people not even related to my grandma. Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water.

Maybe one day we can be a family again (an apology first would be nice). But today the pain is still as fresh as when it first happened. So I ignored Sota’s friend request without a thought. I know I need to forgive, but it’s hard to forget. I don’t hate them, but the love is gone along with the ties that bind us as a family.

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