Family Dramas

Does anyone have a completely drama-free family?

I don’t think so. There always seems to be that person or I guess people (in some families) that just can’t get it right. No matter what, they’re obnoxious. Whether they just want to be difficult, enjoy tormenting others, are selfish, or have some kind of mental/personality disorder, there’s always someone like that.

I think I might be that person sometimes in my family. My parents felt like they had to tiptoe around me so much of my adult life. I don’t really know why,, although I know I went through some volatile years with them. Looking back, it all seems so silly and unnecessary. We wasted so many years being upset with each other over nothing. Ok, it wasn’t nothing. There were so many old hurts and deep wounds I was scared to expose to them that they caused. I could not be vulnerable with them at all. But things have changed now and I am focused on the positives with my parents. If only my brother and I hadn’t drifted so far apart. I feel like I should make more of an effort to talk to him, even though we have a huge time difference between us. It’s always been a problem. But we have grown so far apart that we don’t even wish each other happy birthday anymore. I think that maybe I will send him a birthday card this year and write him about how I wish we could talk more. I haven’t talked to him in almost two years. Before that it was like three years. Life is too short.

We are in town for my wife’s grandmother’s funeral. There’s so much drama between her mom and siblings that it’s ridiculous. Five kids, vastly different personalities, and everyone was clashing last week. But in person, they are getting along. At least they were tonight. Three of them stayed in this general area, two are west coast people now. All have raised children and some are retired. Tonight we were all at my wife’s sister’s house and everyone had fun. But there is a sadness hanging around everyone, like the life of the party isn’t there.

It’s because she’s not.

My grandmother, my mom’s mother, was always old to me. She was German, very formal and proper and not very demonstrative in showing her love. But she was kind and generous. I always knew she loved me.

My wife’s grandmother has been a ray of sunshine since the first time I met her the weekend of Easter in 2021. She had a smile that could light up a room and the sweetest sounding laugh. Her laugh made me laugh. All we did together was laugh. She was starting to really struggle with the right words. Like she knew what she wanted to say but the words just didn’t come to her easily. When we saw her this past Easter, we talked a lot about how her neighbors were directing their rainwater into her yard and it was flooding her basement. This was likely untrue, but in her mind it was true. Her basement did get wet, but whether it had anything to do with them was questionable.

She was so much fun. I really enjoyed listening to her and letting her tell her stories. Sometimes they were real memories and sometimes they could’ve been dreams, or maybe the ramblings of an aging mind that was losing touch with reality. But she was sassy and crazy and never going to do anything any way but the way she wanted to. She could talk your ear off, or she could sit quietly, listening to everyone around her. I remember Christmas 2021, when she was sitting with the calendar of family pictures that she got every year. I walked by her while she was flipping through it and she suddenly started explaining the pictures to me. I leaned over with her, listening to each word she said, asking her questions and just hearing how sweetly she talked about each family member. It’s a conversation I don’t think I will ever forget. She had so much pride in her voice, talking about each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild. Every single one of these people exists because of her. What an awesome feeling that must be. To know that these family members are yours.

I think if she could speak tomorrow, she would tell everyone to stop all this nonsense, get over whatever it pissing you off, and enjoy the time that you get with your people. Stop making a big deal about these stupid little things like possessions and houses and money. Stop alienating each other and just move on. Life is too short to be fighting about all of this crap.

I wish she was still here. I know that I didn’t know her very long compared to everyone else in the family, but I miss her already. i will miss her like I miss my own grandparents. I loved her very, very much although I didn’t know her that long. My heart hurts. I wish I could hear her voice again. Just one more time but not on a video, from her mouth.

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