When I was a child my family was small. It consisted of parents, one brother, a paternal grandmother, maternal grandparents and an uncle, two aunts and six cousins on my father’s side of the family. Except for my maternal grandparents we spent very little time with the rest of the family. One might say our family ties were pretty weak.
Eventually, I moved away from Washington State, where I grew up (sort of). My parents and grandparents died and I lost track of any biological family members who may still be living. It makes me sad when I observe the huge families that others have.
My first husband had no siblings and my second had a brother who died before we were married. When I married my second husband I did obtain a connection with his large family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Of course, when we divorced in 1999 they all went with him. I think it is strange that when a couple divorces the relatives find it necessary to take sides even though they were not part of the marriage. I think it begins at the church when the usher asks, “Which side do you want to sit on, the bride or the groom?”
As the result of the two marriages I did produce three children who produced four children of their own. Because of my past experience I have tried hard to keep them all connected. I have provided email and physical addresses and phone numbers, but my efforts simply have not worked. They barely communicate with each other or with me. Of course, it is normal for me to blame myself. After all if it were not for me none of these souls would even exist.
Due to a conversation I had with my recent visitor, Lois, I finally realized I am not alone nor am I at fault for the behavior of others, even if they are family members. Many people apparently deal with this same issue. What others choose to do with their life is their responsibility. If family ties are not important to them that’s just the way it is!
I have found, and temporarily forgot, that family is much more than biology. We all did come from the same source and are therefore brothers and sisters. Taken from that view family ties takes on a whole new meaning.
I think I am going to go out and look for the rest of my spiritual family now! Perhaps they will recognize me from an earlier photo.