I’m looking at the date I just typed and realize that it is the anniversary of the day my parents were married, nearly 60 years ago. Although neither of them is alive to commemorate the day, I feel like acknowledging it for them, in memoriam, so to speak, and more especially because of the less than appropriate acknowledgement they received yesterday in print at someone else’s hand. In fact, at the hand of a person who, admittedly, only met them once and could only remember my mother as a crisp white pantsuit with red hair, and who then threatened a libel suit to which I responded by deleting all names and even the most obscure facts by which somebody, somewhere might have identified someone in yesterday’s post. Frankly, a person like that isn’t even worthy of being named in my blog. 🙂
Which brings me to today’s topic. Over the years, I have reconnected with friends and acquaintances with mixed results. Sometimes it’s ok, but fades quickly, sometimes, it starts out well, but ends with a mutual decision to close the door and in others, it is an amazing and wonderful experience to reconnect with someone who, after many years, has evolved into someone I’m very proud to know again, and to call “friend”. As I’ve been using Facebook to reconnect with relatives who faded away after my parents died, I have, once again, experienced mixed results, and with what I read yesterday, I am beginning to understand why. It has become glaringly apparent that some of these relatives saw nothing wrong with sharing the gory details of my parents’ demises with, at the very least, their children who either didn’t know us at all, or knew us from a very great distance, across a dark, empty chasm. How long they have pointed across that chasm at the family who must not be touched because of their taintedness, I won’t even speculate. I just find it incredibly sad that they chose to remember and share something they believed was ugly rather than to try to remember some of the positive qualities. Granted, especially in the later years, it was easier to do so with my father than with my mother, but what happened to respecting the dead? I recall one family gathering where a cousin turned around and snapped at me over a remark concerning my mom. She made it clear that she felt that my mom was always comparing us to them and trying to “one up” them. Frankly, I couldn’t have cared less. My cousins were popular and outwardly confident (ok, except maybe the one who snapped at me), and, in the end, have faced health issues (both mental and physical) in their lives which were as challenging and difficult. in fact, in some cases, even more so, than some of the challenges I’ve faced. The difference is that I don’t feel the need to drag any of it back up when I see someone who might have known them. It’s ancient history and they survived whatever it was. That is what we celebrate.
At any rate, I realize that my relatives, at least on my mother’s side, have already painted the picture of me which works for them, and who am I to destroy their artwork? So in the interests of simplicity, I won’t continue to pursue a relationship that, it seems, is uncomfortable for anyone. I will, however, remain open should any of them want to remain in contact (with one notable exception, but then, there’s no worry there!) but will focus my efforts on people and places who meet me without the judgment, the stigma and the false attributes I’ve experienced with family. As with everything else in my life these days, I’m always open to being proven wrong about my perceptions.
More than anything else, here, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn another lesson which, in this case, showed me how very fortunate I am to have some incredible, amazing and, to my surprise and great joy, supportive people in my life. I thank them all for reminding me what life in this particular human form is all about.
Love and light.