It started with a letter I wrote to my Aunt. I asked for pictures. I guess I didn’t ask right, because I never got the pictures. My Aunt has family memorabilia all over her neat home. She is my father’s sister, and the keeper of family records, and secrets as well.
When I found my parents, she welcomed me with open arms, but a closed smile. She said, “we’re so glad you found us!” but her eyes said something else.
I was invited to a luncheon with my father’s family, in a restaurant all my relatives had been in many times. It was my first time there.
I sat next to my father, and a photo album was brought out, with pictures of my father as a young man, and pictures of him with his young children. His daughter looked so much like mine. Even the clothes were the same, because my daughter and my sister are only 1 year apart in age.
I was happy to see so many members of my father’s family, but I was nervous too. Whenever my natural family is around something happens in my mind. Everything is tilted and far away. I can’t quite understand what’s going on. They all seem like they are underwater. It’s not a good feeling.
After they met me, and the novelty wore off they began talking amongst themselves, about people and places that were unfamiliar to me. It was so painful.
The photo album disappeared. I can’t remember now what the pictures looked like, it was 2 1/2 years ago . They had a cake for my youngest daughter’s birthday. I was happy. That was a good thing.
After the luncheon, some of us walked over to my aunts house, where they showed me home movies they had converted to DVD. There were my grandparents, dead now, in the flesh. They looked so unfamiliar. I couldn’t understand how I could be related to them.
Then they showed my parents wedding. There was my mother and father, young and beautiful. And I was there, inside my mother, in my grandparents house. A house I would never get to see, with people I would never get to meet. I felt as if I were losing my mind. I had to get out of there!
My aunt promised to send me a copy of the DVD, and some pictures too. I waited and waited, but nothing came.
Soon I found out that my aunt was getting remarried, and her reception was in the same restaurant, but I wasn’t invited. The luncheon was in april, and the wedding in June. They never spoke a word about the wedding. They didn’t want me to know.
That was when I realized that actions speak louder than words, and the hugs and smiles weren’t always sincere. My heart was broken, again.
I grew angry, how dare they slight me! I was the first grandchild, I was part of the family. Why would they leave me out of such an important occasion, and only 6 months after we reunited? I would have gotten to meet other relatives, and been included in family pictures for the first time, but I was not.
I realized that I was given nothing. Not 1 picture, or heirloom, not even a bouquet of flowers. Hell, my father didn’t even get up from the table the first time I met him. Something was very wrong.