One Hundred Ninety Seven: Family Tree

“Blood relatives often have nothing to with family, and similarly, family is about who you choose to make your life with.” – Oliver Hudson

Wednesday, July 16th

Today was a day of visiting almost family members. I had planned for our road trip to backtrack in order to see my older brother’s son, and my half-brother’s mother. Theoretically, these are diluted relationships since I have no blood relation to my older step-brother or his son, and I was never raised with my half-brother nor had I had any sort of regular visits to their household growing up. Yet our paths cross and we are part of one another’s histories.

Unfortunately, the meet-up with my nephew didn’t happen. It was the first real let-down of this trip. I get lost in thoughts of whether he had a legitimate reason for canceling at the last minute, but it comes down to a big disappointment for me that we didn’t get to reunite on this trip. I have to keep several things in mind here. He has no memory of ever meeting me, and I am the sister of his absent father so there isn’t a lot of incentive there. He’s 17 and it’s summer. His Mom turned 40 the morning he was going to meet me. I try not to take it personally.

I also have to remember that a one hour visit isn’t going to make up for the years that my family hasn’t been in touch or supported this young man or his single mother. I’ve tried to keep the communication open because that’s what feels right, and I’m trying but that doesn’t mean they’re receptive. It takes more than good intentions. But here’s the thing…I can gauge where I am in my own personal development by knowing that I did the right thing in bending over backwards to make this visit happen. At this point in my life, I care deeply about those in my life and I am honest and authentic about my actions.

All in all, it opened up more time for me to spend with my half-brother and get to know his mom a bit more. She has always been shrouded in mystery and a whole lot of second-hand information. She had a strong interest in getting to visit with my kids, and when she greeted us at the door I saw just how important it was to her. It was obvious that she was desperate for grandchildren, and saw the youth of her own grown sons reflected in the eyes of my children. The visit was pleasant, and it showed me that the best way forward in relationships is to make my own conclusions based on my experiences with people rather than depend on what others say.

It was an intense day in its ways, and it was good to look ahead to a couple of days of house sitting and jet-setting around my old university town.

Do you get wrapped up in family gossip or do you try to step back from it?



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