Monday, November 30, 2015

Family is What You Make It

I was raised in a big family. One of those big, obnoxious families that knew everything about everyone. Sometimes, it was a blessing, (like when I sprained my ankle and my entire family was in the waiting room waiting to make sure I was okay), and sometimes it was not, (like when my mom called my entire family when I got my period.)

After my grandmother passed away, my family started moving apart and things just... changed. 

My mom and dad moved first. Then my husband and I. Then, my sister and her family. Then my aunt and uncle. 

My mom has since passed. My dad is in and out of our life. My sister and her family, are mostly busy in their world. I see them from time to time, but it's not as often as I'd like. My cousins and I talk on social media, mostly. I randomly see my aunts and uncles if they come to Florida or if we go to New York. 

So this Thanksgiving, I invited my father to join us for the day. At first he said yes. Then, he mentioned that he told the guys at the Elks Lodge that he'd go there. I don't even remember the last time that he's seen my kids. I tell him just to let me know. He didn't even call. 

My dad isn't a spring chicken; this year, he turned 71. One would think that he'd want to spend it with his daughter, his grand kids.. 

Flipping through social media on and around the holidays is like stabbing myself with a red hot poker in the gut. It burns, badly. This sharp, deep, intense pain that I can't seem to shake. I hate seeing pictures of my friends or family with their extended family. I hate seeing my friends that I grew up with sharing a meal with their moms and dads.. I hate seeing their newborn baby or toddler, and even their big kids being loved on by their grandparents. 

I hate hearing even my best friends cheerfully sharing their family get together with me, or even their crazy psycho family moments. 

These are big, dark words that I don't often use, but around the holidays, I feel inundated with them. 

Then, I go shopping with the girls, and we go to Applebee's and have a couple of two-fers, and everything seems right in the world. Until we pass a woman, about my age, holding the door open for her 60 something year old mom, smiling and laughing as they enter the restaurant, my heart strings tear back open, throbbing, aching, burning inside. 

So other than that, Thanksgiving was good. I made my mother's stuffed mushrooms; maybe that's my way of keeping her near. I hope your Thanksgiving was one filled with great food, and great company. 



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