I started a piece about my ambivalence and the holidays yesterday that did not turn out in any way like I had expected.
Instead of explaining why I am embracing ambivalence in a healthy was this holiday season ( and many more I hope ) , I found myself getting angry.
Angry for and not at my mother.
It was not the way I wanted it to be and a tad too self involved so I deleted it .
Now I am glad that I did.
Recently I friended my Uncle Richard on Facebook.
Ditto Uncle Clancy or Clarence I should say.
One is a retired business executive and the other is a retired doctor of anesthesiology.
They and their families live in Minnesota.
They are my mother's two younger brothers .
I am the oldest grandchild.
I found out today that 11 days after SU's mother died, my cousin Mark ( Clancy's son) and his wife Sally lost their daughter Kelly Marie in a house fire a month before her 21'st birthday.
A year and a half ago.
I was profoundly saddened for them as a family and for all of us collectively as family.
Mother grew up in small town Minnesota as the oldest of three. She married a career officer and traveled while the rest of them stayed in Minnesota. She was very close to her brothers and her family overall, but as her drinking over the years increased, walls went up ...the elephant in the room so to speak and for one reason or another , I never got to really get to know my cousins.
Except at funerals..Mother's in 1981 and Grandpa's in 1993.
I wrote a condolence to my uncle and aunt om the loss of their grandchild and indicated that I would like to at least send my cousins a Christmas card , given the proper address or last names for the girl cousins.
I don't want to be like my mother trying to meet some artificial expectation of who I am.
She could never do that with her family.
She always felt like a complete failure and a bad person in their eyes.
She felt unworthy.
I honestly believe that Mother thought she could hide her problems and because of that, she did not seek or accept the gift of help until it was too late.
You can't reach out to someone that keeps you at arms length.
It's a choice .
I've made that choice before without regret of any kind.
It's healthier for me.
Just because you are family does not give you the right to try to damage or hurt another family member, there is no free pass so to speak.
But..I don't want to go through life not knowing who my cousins are as just people.
I am curious to see who they are without our parents expectations hanging over us.
They might not want to bother.
I have no illusions.