“They say” you can choose your friends but not your family, I’m sure that statement rings true for a lot of us. Our families, even at the best of times, have the ability to drive us nuts, laughing at our own crazy stories. But, what if I told you that at some point in your life, you may not be speaking to your family. Your reaction, would most likely be, “that’s ridiculous, we’re a close family, how could that be possible?” I am here to tell you, it is possible and I play this scenario over and over again, in my head. I try not to let it bother me but I was raised in a family of “see it, say it”. I guess the other extreme would be to say nothing at all? I struggle to make sense of this, not being able to find the right words, being stubborn or needing to be right, isn’t the solution.
Communication or lack of…for example, take my “in-laws” (I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere). During my own split with my husband, I was hell-bent on making sure that he and I have a civil and kind relationship. Trust me, we had our moments but at the end of the day, we share two children that we both love and adore. Wouldn’t it be easier to be friendly and kind than to be right? Look, everyone has a breakup story, some good, some really bad and well, I guess my in-laws thought different. It’s been 3 1/2 years since I’ve heard a boo, which makes me sad for them and everything they are missing out on. Sure, they get an occasional visit in the summer and Christmas Eve but what about everything else in between?
This resurfaced for me recently, with the upcoming celebrations of my younger son’s graduation. It was emotional and sad for me to think, this once close family, torn apart because of a few stubborn egos. Is this a generational thing? It’s so ridiculous! Whatever…trying to keep things in perspective, regardless of absent in-laws. That said, wouldn’t you want to resolve these issues moving forward? Isn’t there more to lose than not? It’s so obvious to me but then again, maybe I’m just too much of an idealist. I know, sometimes families can’t be fixed, I don’t understand it but I get it.
I have to believe my husband and I have done it right, we’re the grown-ups here, trying to set an example but it can be a challenge sometimes. There will be many more celebrations in the future, sadly, this family can’t seem to figure it out. I’m sure some of you have similar stories…I just wish I knew how to solve it. To be honest, I wiped my hands of this a while ago, (obviously, it still bothers me) they’re not even my parents, except that their actions affect all of us and that’s the kicker! I believe in unconditional love and that we can agree to disagree, not run when the shit hits the fan or abandon ship, WTF, who does that?!
the Urban dictionary’s definition of family;
I think this sums it up quite nicely! I love my family, my REAL family, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do, say, help or fight for, to be in their lives. So, remember when things get heated up, communicate this love, because in the end, family matters.