I suppose since you have a big house now that you will be hosting Christmas this year.
It wasn’t the first time I heard this comment…
I told Luke that I didn’t really like an aunt and uncle of ours.
Because of the time that they came over for supper when we were kids.
What about it?
They had the house with the piano. They wanted us to come live with them if mom and dad left us forever. That evening while we were eating, Matt hurt our aunt. It wasn’t unusual for Matt to hurt someone. It was our aunt who was acting strange. She locked herself in the car crying hysterically. She could not be comforted. I’ve never seen her so upset before or since.
Suppose that our aunt was attacked and Matt triggered her memory of it.
Aunt left and didn’t come back. They said that they didn’t want us to come live with them in their house with the piano anymore.
Who told you that?
Mom. She cried and said that no one cared. She said things would be different if her mom was still living.
How old were you?
I don’t know, maybe 8 or 9.
You were too young, why would she tell you that you were unwanted?
Something strange happened in the course of our conversation. For the first time I was able to see the event through adult eyes.
I was able to let go of the rejection of 30+ years. My aunt has always been kind to me, but I didn’t trust her since that night. Other family members cared. They were busy living their own lives. Some were only a few years older than me. They saw what was happening but didn’t know what to do about it. Some lived far away. The ones that were near did help.
My mom just needed more help than anyone could reasonably provide.
So I became the helper. I became the adult.
I have forgiven my family.
Someday I will forgive my mother too for my lost childhood and for giving me this heavy weight to carry. I think it is time to start unpacking my baggage.