Friday, September 21, 2007

When family members become strangers

When family members become strangers

My mother was the baby of 7 children, my father was 1 of 7 children and when the families gathered together, it was the biggest party this side of the Mississippi!

My maternal grandmother's 80th birthday party was held in a park and over 200 people attended her party, it was at the same park on the same day as the Monsanto Corporation's company picnic and I bet we had more people at our party than they did theirs...

When my maternal grandmother passed away, attending her funeral was like attending the funeral of John F. Kennedy, the cars went on forever. I was 23 years old and I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest child. I still remember all of it. I rained so hard and we were all soaking wet, crying over our greatest loss and freezing cold in the middle of March. The gathering afterward was at the Masonic lodge, everyone was mourning our most favorite person in our own way, some were laughing, some were getting blitzed, some were crying and some were just in shock. Grandma was 90 years old when she passed away, that was in March of 1993. It's 14 years later and it hurts every bit now as it did on that day in March 1993.

She was the center of the family, anything and everything went through her! She was the very foundation that kept our family together....

Now, there's no one who fills that position. All of the family is strung out all over the country, there's no more family reunions, there's no more communication between the family members...

Its like we've all broken off into our own "pods" and the link has been broken.
All of the cousins have lost touch and we've all become strangers.

On my father's side though, my paternal grandmother is still living, she's 91 years old and she's "the link" of that side of the family. With the exception of one of her daughters, she keeps in touch with all of the family members on my father's side.

Its heartbreaking to think that when she passes, that link will also break.

They say you can't go back home and for the most part, I don't really have any desire to return to the house on Oak Drive, but, I wish I could return to the days where family was family and not strangers.

I see it happening with my own family, my daughters have all "flown" the nest and only my youngest remains in my choice!

I love my girls and I miss them greatly. I feel as though I haven't completed my job of raising my girls and I wish I could change that. But there's just nothing left that I can do. They're gone...mentally and physically.

I know that I won't see my 90th birthday like my grandmothers have, and I also know that I won't be the "link" for my children like my grandmothers were to their children. We're not the same and I didn't raise my kids like my grandparents raised theirs.

Its sad really, I wanted more out of life than this where my kids are concerned.

Things change, times change and people change, this I know, but when...when do we get back to the good stuff and when do the strangers become family members again?

I'm a stranger to my parents, my brothers and my children.

My family of children has now become my family of pets...and my family "fun time" includes frisbee throwing, throwing sticks for my dog to fetch and sitting in the living room watching adult "cartoons" such as South Park and Family Guy!

There's no more dinners at the kitchen table, it just sits there collecting dust and my house has adopted barking instead of laughter.

My minivan has been replaced by my Jeep, the bicycles have been replaced by 4-wheelers and the swimming pool rarely has anyone swimming in it.

I miss some things, but some other things I'm glad are more fighting, no more loud music and no more demanding that chores be done.

I miss the hugs and kisses, I miss the crowd of neighborhood kids that adopted me as their 2nd mom and I miss the halloween parties. I miss the table full of food at Thanksgiving and I miss the home-made christmas gifts and mother's day gifts.

I don't miss the phone ringing night and day and I don't miss the 4-hour, hand cramping sessions of doing the "do's" up for dances at school and I don't miss the dirty dishes in the sink and I don't miss the ungodly amount of trash to clean up the day after christmas.

I do however miss "my family".

have a great weekend

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