As some know, with the passing of my Aunt Maxine about two months ago, I have no family left on my mother's side of the family. On my dad's side of the family, however, there are many people. Family members that I remember very well from when we lived up north...and others I really never dreamed of meeting, but have been able to connect with through facebook.
Facebook is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with family and I am thankful that I have been able to utilize it as such. I have been able to connect with my two cousins George and Ed, my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim, and a couple of little cousins Amanda and Nick. I have never met Nick before and haven't seen Amanda since she was five. Twenty years ago now. I have been talking to George on the phone and have been able to text his mother, my Aunt Vera.
There have been other relatives too, namely four cousins and an Uncle that I tried to reach out to...but did not seem to reciprocate the same excitement that I did when I found them. I do remember them pretty well, mostly from family Christmas parties when I was a kid, and before we moved to Iowa. How to handle that? Well....it is hard. Why does it upset me? It is just how I am.
See, what they don't know about me is that I am just looking to reconnect with my family. I don't NEED anything from them...I just want to get to know them. And like most people, my feelings get hurt when I am treated like an outcast for things that were out of my control, if there is actually a reason in the first place! I wouldn't know, because not one word was said to me. Not one.
Sometimes, wouldn't it just be easier to walk up to someone, shake them and shout, "I am a person with feelings. I didn't do anything to you. I am not a criminal. I do not have the plague. I don't want anything from you. I just want to get to know you!"
The other person that I have reconnected with is by far the most special to me....and I have never met him, and may never get to. He is my half brother. He is sixteen years older than I am and lives in San Diego, Ca. I have always, and I mean always wanted a brother or sister...and now I do. However, it isn't like a typical relationship obviously. To be honest, he probably didn't even know about me until I contacted him on facebook a short time ago. Same thing with him...I just want to get to know him and would love to have him be a part of my life. SO...what do I do? I make assumptions about him not wanting to talk to me anymore, delete him...only to friend him again because I knew I had made a mistake. ugh! Thankfully, he forgave me for being stupid and reminded me that there are issues that I don't know about with the other relatives, obviously stuff that I don't know about.
He basically reminded me to stay on the high road. Now why didn't I think of that? Instead of being petty and catty, I should have just let things run their course so to speak. SO...that is what I am doing now. I will let things work themselves out. I have done all that I can. It is now out of my hands.
Family. Wow. When I think about my mom's side and my dad's side....it is just so different. I sure hope that I am raising my children to always love and care for each other into adulthood. I want them to enjoy each other, grow with each other, have many children who will grow up the same way. If there needs to be a change....it will start with me. I want my family back together. If that starts with my children~ fine. I don't want them to have to feel the pain that I feel when family outright ignores you. It is just not nice.
That said. I am done complaining about things I can't control. Not a single one of us has control over things. I will concentrate on getting to know the family that I have reconnected with and my half brother who will never know or understand how just knowing I have a brother makes me smile a little brighter. =)
Family. Wow. Truly a gift from God. Thank you sweet Jesus for my beautiful family, my amazing husband, my parents, my in laws, my super incredibly smart, talented and beautiful children. Please, don't let me take them for granted...ever.