Last night in our music team rehearsal, there was a great time of sharing. A common theme was family – there were all kinds of family situations at various states. Right now, most of my blood related family lives in other states. A few weeks ago I was renewed in my need to start working through the messy details of my own family. One step was talking to my mom (sent an e-mail) about several things that I’ve wanted to ask about but didn’t want to stir difficult emotions by bringing them up. She let me know where she was with those things and it freed me to do whatever I felt I needed in my relationships with my other family members. In many ways I still don’t know how everything is going to work out, but I’m beginning a new chapter and hopefully can begin to build and restore some connections.
God is working on all of us. This morning my Aunt (my Father’s sister) called me. Things have been difficult since the passing of my father (her brother) in 2003. Both my mom and I were already facing some financial hardships and his passing was completely unexpected. Our family often keeps messy situations private, so my mom and I chose to quickly and quietly deal with his arrangements and estate. What I didn’t realize at the time is how much that hurt my aunt. There’s probably volumes more to this story that I don’t know about as well, but it was at least a year later before my aunt began to share with me her pain. That was rough because I was dealing with so much un-processed pain at the time myself. I was amazed to know that she was so affected and that’s why we hadn’t talked. It was then that I realized just how connected my family is. When my aunt called this morning, she was calling to let me know that she wants to start fresh and that she’s sorry we haven’t been in touch. I wish I could have hugged her right through my cell phone. I don’t want to continue in the patterns of silence that we’ve maintained for so long.
Individually everyone of us could be bleeding to death in the same room, but as long as we can keep it to ourselves, no one would ever mention it to the other. In retrospect, my Dad had emotional pains as well, that unless absolutely necessary – he wasn’t going to bring up. It’s just the way we deal with things – inside. Unfortunately it caused us to love each other but from a distance. For me, I grew up knowing I was loved, but that the ‘bad parts’ of me needed to be kept locked away until I ‘fixed’ them on my own. It’s what all of us did so I didn’t think it was anything less than normal. It’s only in my adult years after growing closer to some other families that I realize that what I grew up with isn’t the de facto standard of human civilization. That some families go through everything together good and bad. That I could intern be loved / accepted with my good and bad showing – novel concept for me. 🙂
All of this is new for me. I’m thankful for the beginning of reconcilliation. I feel so strongly that this is our time to heal.