November 1, 2016
I wake up to several text messages and phone calls. Something is wrong, my heart drops. As I unlock my phone, I see that my mom and dad were desperately trying to notify me of something. My uncle had just passed away. While my eyes began to focus on the words in the message my heart became extremely heavy.
My uncle, who is my dad’s brother, left the world this morning around 2:00 a.m. I was told that he had passed away in his sleep. My thoughts were instantly focused on my aunt and what she may have been feeling. I could only imagine it was that feeling of disbelief, shock, and extreme sadness. I wondered how she came to the conclusion that her husband, the father of her children, the man that she had build her life and legacy with, was now gone. I can’t begin to wrap my mind around those feelings that she must have had in that very moment.
I have memories of my uncle but they are few and vague. The memories I have of him are not bad by any means, we were just severely disconnected. I never had the opportunity to build a relationship or to make any new memories with him. I am sure you are wondering why? Why were we not as close as we should have been? Well, the short version of that story is…PRIDE. It is a domino effect, my dad has been on is own since he was young. Over the years he became very distant with his brothers and sisters. The domino effect that I speak of is that, I was distant because my dad was distant. My sisters and I only have a few memories of being in our aunt’s and uncles presence or anyone else from that side of the family.
As these thoughts begin to sink in I tell myself…Damn. Damn, I didn’t get a chance to make it right. I didn’t get a chance to take my kids by his house so they could know who their uncle was. He and the rest of my dad’s brothers and sisters have never met my kids. As I sit here writing this post, I ask myself why? What makes me different than them, or better yet what makes me the same. I never tried to reach out, I never called, I never sent a card, and I never attempted to re-connect with them.
I am no different; I have allowed the opinion and feelings of my dad get in the way of me building my own relationship with my dad’s side of the family. Thing is, they have never wronged me personally but they hurt my dad. The way that we are in this family is that if they hurt him then they hurt me (us). That hurt I took on as my own and took the words from one side of the story and believed it.
As I try to get through this day with such a heavy heart, I pray that moving forward I will begin to build the relationships that were broken so many years ago. It is time for the younger generation to step up and mend the relationships that our parents struggle with. We have to be the ones to show them how it SHOULD be. At the end of the day we are FAMILY.
Unfortunately, we do not get to choose who is a part of this family but we are to LOVE them even if we don’t agree with their actions or behavior. That is our job. I pray for the past to be accepted and the future to be re-built. This is my prayer for myself, my family and my children.
FORGIVENESS is my only option.