why it “woke me up”

I guess I should write about the rest of the day of the funeral less the original title of the first post doesn’t make a lot of sense.

It was at some point after the funeral while we were still at the funeral home that one of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in years came up to me and told me hello.  She actually re-introduced herself to me as if I would not remember who she was.  I told her not to be silly, of course I remembered her and I did.  She gave me a hug, but it was just so weird to realize you hadn’t seen some members of your family in years and years.  Even weirder to realize this when you had been so close at one point in time.

When I was little, the cousins on my dad’s side were me and my sister’s best friends.  We all grew up together.  All of us were roughly the same age.  It wasn’t just the girls but the boys too…we were all good friends.  I never had that bond with my cousins on my mom’s side, probably because 1 is much older, 4 are much younger, and the 2 that were roughly the same age as me and my sister never came to visit much and we didn’t really visit them.

So we were all inseparable as kids.  Christmases… my memories were always with them.

For some reason I will never know or understand… my mom always seemed to think she was so much better than my dad’s family.  Why you would marry a man when you felt that way about his family I have no idea, but then again my mother tends to think she is better than the whole entire world.  I remember it coming out here and there when my parents were married.  But when my parents divorced, it really came out.

Now don’t get me wrong… there are people in my dad’s family that I take issue with because they stirred up a lot of drama when my parents divorced and did things that made life difficult for us kids…and we were only well… kids.  But it was never my cousins or anything.  And after my parents divorced and my dad got over his head in his ass phase and we finally started going and staying with him on weekends and stuff…once again we spent a ridiculous amount of time with our cousins, especially when my dad was living with my grandma and grandpa and 4 of our cousins lived right down the road.

My mom though, I felt like my mom always tried to alienate us from our cousins.  She really seemed to want to alienate us from that entire side of our family.  She pretty much succeeded when she moved us to a new town, new school when I was 10.

It was then that my sister and one of my cousins had a falling out.  My cousin said some really mean things to my sister and that ruined their relationship.  My mom took the opportunity to completely manipulate the situation.  I think had it been left to my sister and my cousin, they would have fought and they would have worked it out somehow, but once my mom got involved it turned into this feud or something, I dunno.  All I know is it got really ugly between my mom and my dad’s family… my sister and cousin never really reconciled after that and just like that it was like nobody ever talked or hung out or anything anymore.

How foolish right?  And it didn’t even have anything to do with me.  And yet I suffered too.  All over some stupid incident of kids fighting and then my selfish mother getting involved.

There was absolutely no reason that all this should have happened and worse yet, we all just stop talking and interacting.  And yet it did.  I will never ever understand it.  I just know that a lot of it had to do with my mom working behind the scenes and I hate that because it took me into adulthood to realize that it was just a dumb fight between kids and yet my mother manipulated the situation until it became completely fucking broken.

It wasn’t like we haven’t seen each other in all those years.  There were family functions here and there, and there was always this awkward type of conversation…or silence… or we would randomly mention things about our childhood fondly and then this sadness hangs in the air.

So after my grandpa’s funeral… we all went back to my grandma’s house.  It was messed up that my aunt and uncles I hadn’t seen in a long time where there but most of them didn’t say much to any of the kids at all… but that is also kind of how they always were I guess.  Us  kids would play upstairs and they adults would all sit around in a separate area… I guess I thought it would change a bit since we’re all adults now but I guess not.  It seemed like all of us cousins were just separated a bit.  Especially the girls.  The boys seemed like they saw each other every day of their lives or something…it was weird.

The cousin that gave me the hug at the funeral came down and made awkward conversation.  I tried so hard to keep finding things to talk about but there’s only so many generic questions you can ask.  I didn’t want to seem rude, it was just the fact that well… we were strangers… we don’t know each other anymore… it’s difficult talking to somebody you don’t know when you both are guarded.

It was a long day of weird conversation and shit… on the way home I talked to Ki and rehashed how at one time we had all been so close and it was so weird and blah blah blah.  When I got home I called my sister and we ended up talking about and she told me how she had had the same conversation on her way home with her husband and we just started talking about how it wasn’t right that things were like this within this side of the family…etc etc etc  and we started to toy with the idea that maybe, somehow it was time to change this.  She had to let me go for a while for some reason so while I waited for her to call back I thought:

Fuck this.  There is no reason for it to be like it is.  I am not going to be my mother, someone who never attempts to correct a situation because their own pride gets in their way.

At that point I had no pride standing in my way anyways and it felt very free.  The funeral had left me emotional and vulnerable but perhaps in the best of ways in that it made me sit aside everything that no longer felt of any importance.  So I got on Facebook, found my damn cousins, and sent them a friend request and a heartfelt message.  It was a start.  I told them I was sorry for the awkwardness of the conversation of that day, that I didn’t want to be strangers anymore.  I was scared but it was in their hands.

My phone started pinging with friend requests accepted.  It is nothing like what we had as kids, but it is a start, a way to get to know these people again.  For the times that I bitch about Facebook, if it didn’t exist…well it gave me a way to reach out to them… because even though I wish I could have just done it in person, I still wasn’t ready for that I guess.  It took enough courage to say I felt like I had made a mistake for not reaching out to them sooner over Facebook.

So there we are.  The gathering of souls at my grandpa’s funeral made me realize it was time to reach out.  Somebody had to do it, and the universe was telling me that it was time for me to do it.  I don’t know where it will go, but I am glad to no longer have any regrets about it.  I’m just a bit bitter at myself for not doing it sooner I suppose.

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