Thursday, March 31, 2011

Love, Loss and Repetition

My family is far from ideal, but watching history repeat itself can get painful.

I dont know remember really having much family around when I was younger. I know my mum had disagreements with her mum, but I am not sure on my dads family. We started seeing my nan on my dads side, when I was maybe 6. Both my parents come from huge families, each having 8 siblings, who of course have their own families too.

I loved going to my nans, she was the only nan I ever knew. I remember watching the film Granpa and just crying for hours as I wanted a Granpa. Subsequently, my dad banned be from ever watching it downstairs ha.

Going to my nans was exciting, suddenly I had tons of cousins and plenty of places and people to play with. This pic is from my nans 80th. (I am the one with the white hair band near the right.)

I grew up living with my mum and dad and my bother who was 3 years older than me. My older sister Tracy, also lived with me until I was about 4. We used to share a room and although I would fight with her if I couldnt get my own way, we loved each other. She had a boyfriend, who I would follow around like a shadow whenever he was around. She left on bad terms with my mum.

When I was about 9, I gained some more family. Turned out, I had an older sister named Michelle, who had also left home on bad terms with mum, but she got back in touch. Along with a sister, I also gained a brother in law and a niece and a nephew. There was some riverally at first, adjusting to sudden changes, but I loved it.

A couple of years after that, Tracy got back in touch. By this point she had 3 kids, but one was ill. When she had had her youngest there had been complications. She should have been a twin, but only one survived, when Tracy got in touch, the youngest was ill in hospital needing surgery and a long stay. She survived and did well. I now had 3 nephews and 2 nieces.

Christmas was wonderful. It was chaos. The room full of nice smells and coloured strips of paper flying through the air as everyone exchanged presents. The excited squeals as the kids unwrapped what they wanted or sat and played games with each other. Everyone making the effort and wearing their best clothes. And after tea, we would go visit my nans with more kids and chaos. It was wonderful, I loved it so much.

Not long after, my elder sister Michelle got pregnant. It was a complicated pregnancy and she had to spend a big chunk of time in hospital before the birth. I got the job of looking after the other two kids. I already loved spending time with them. I got to play the nice role, the reading bed time stories and making hot chocolate.

When the baby was born, I was instantly in love. Shell used to come visit one afternoon a week and I would race home to spend 30 mins with the baby before she had to leave to pick the other two up.

Life was good. I had my family around me and I loved it.

There were issues with my brother who for a while was in and out of my life a lot. I made a point of seeing my nieces and nephews all the time. Going once a week to Tracy's for tea and to see the kids. Watching them grow was wonderful and I felt very grown up.

When I got sick, family pulled together, but the stress of it all had an effect. Everyone began arguing with each other. Once the danger zone passed, the stress became too much and my Tracy stopped visiting. I lost contact to my niece and 2 nephews. This is still a very raw wound, that I blame myself for.

I loved them with all my heart and yet I lost them. Soon after, my nan got sick and after rushing back on a mad 18 hour drive from the middle of Italy, we spent a couple of weeks at the hospital with her, before losing her, in an ugly and painful battle. Again, I loved her so deeply and it hurt so much losing her that I cried non stop for weeks. She used to hold my family together and once she was gone, we all drifted. Its rare now that I see anyone from that side of my family. 

My eldest niece from Shell, turned 18 last winter and due to family arguments, now lives away from home with her dad. We are slowly losing contact with her and no matter how hard I cling, I am struggling to hold her into this family. It hurts like hell to picture losing her.

Maybe, I shouldnt love as strongly, because it hurts more when losing people. My family is drifting apart and I am powerless to stop it no matter how hard I try.

Just had some more bad news, which may further pull on my little family and lead to me losing even more contact. I cant write about that at the moment, but I can say that I am scared. I cant lose anymore. It feels like it maybe a battle of my health and their health and I am losing more people. 

I have taken every loss personally, yet held it all in. Now, more than ever I need to hold it in, I need to be strong, yet try to keep my family together. I need to be the rock at this point, not show my fear and stand up tall. 

But its hard and it hurts and it feels like I have a huge weight sitting on my chest.

No comments:

Post a Comment