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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Extended Family

I hate that people are greedy. I hate that people are torn apart for the damnest of reasons and while we can forgive in our hearts, we protect ourselves when people don't every try to apologize for the things they have done. The blog may be a bit cryptic to some but I am sure every family has a story where in one reason or another they are ripped apart. During this time of the year I think about a certain side of my family and can't help but miss them.

In the past, Thanksgiving was the time of the year we would visit my Grandparents in Cleveland. I had a great set of Grandparents that I knew loved me. I felt it, I heard them tell me that they did and I just felt a depth of love every time I came over to their house. I was always greeted by squishy kisses, hugs and they would listen to whatever little worry or story I had for them. I know a lot of people have or had great grandparents that hugged and kissed them, BUT when you only have 75% of your Grandparents treat you with love, you learn to appreciate it a little more. On my visits I also had an Aunt, Uncle and cousins that I loved to see and play with. I felt love from them too. I knew they genuinely were happy to see me and I cherished those play dates where my cousins and I would drive the adults a bit crazy.

After my Grandmother was dead for short period of time, one of my cousins moved in with my Grandfather. While it was thoughtful in the beginning for her to do that, she was also told that she too needed to have her own life and to not put it on hold. She should find a husband and have her own family. I believe it was one of her wishes. Years went by and we would still visit every Thanksgiving. Everything was still at it was minus one Grandparent. As my Grandfather aged he started getting alzheimer and dementia. During one point my cousin who still lived at the house told us we were no longer to stay in the house when we visited. There was no reason why. She just decided she didn't like it. My Grandfather would never want that. We were always welcomed no matter what. Other extremely hurtful incidents also occurred that I don't want to get into.. Things looked fishy. We did an internet search. We found out my cousin got power of attorney over my Grandfather and then got the deed to my Grandfathers house. We had no idea. Our family was shocked.

My Grandfather died Thanksgiving day a few years later. We believe he wanted us to come "home" one more time. We did. It was one of the hardest few days I ever had. It wasn't the loss of my Grandfather even though that was hard, but the insane treatment we received by the other side. There were a lot of incidents but a few come to memory is a cousins daughter kicked my mother during the wake, our belongings were thrown from one pew to another in church during the funeral and we were treated so badly that I believe I had my first panic attack in the restaurant of an Apple Bee's because I couldn't handle the grief of losing my Grandfather and the immense shock of how badly my family was treated. My family had no inheritance because the money that was there was taken. I can get over the money issue. However, I had to beg to get family photos of my family when we were young or even my Mother's wedding photos. I even begged for the pictures my sister and I colored with markers that my grandparents taped to their bedroom wall. We were given a few of them along with a few other items eventually. They were just tokens that meant all the sentiments in the world to us and nothing to them. To this day those memories that rush back are still extremely hurtful. I forgave a bit in my heart but they never thought for a moment they did anything wrong. I just couldn't believe that such a group of loving individuals could turn with such hatred and disgust.

Given all that, I think about them a lot during this time of the year. I swear I smelled my Grandfather for a moment when I was kissing my son the other night as a almost, "hey its just about Thanksgiving" message. I looked up and the smell was gone. I think about my Grandparents and how I miss getting those kisses and squishy hugs. I miss my Aunt talking about her dreams, my Uncle tickling us until we cried and the cousins that would giggle away and just be silly with us. I mourn for what was. I question a lot on why they would ever do this to us. I miss them. I miss my family and I'll probably never have them back. Its sad. The money isn't the issue. There was very little of it as my Grandfather never made more then 10K a year. Its the hurt behind it and the betrayal of what was done.

I'll pray for them. What else can I do? I just wonder if they ever think about us. Do they ever want to reach out and say, "we're sorry"? Maybe it will happen someday. Maybe it won't. I just wish people, especially families would think before acting harshly towards each other.

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