Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And then the flood gates were cracked

"Beth. This is your Aunt Jan. Do you remember me?"

My dad's little sister. I could never forget.

"I'm sorry to bother you but I needed to let you know your Aunt Kay died this past weekend."

My dad died almost 30 years ago. He was 36. I was 12. I haven't seen this side of the family regularly since his funeral.

"I called your grandmother to get your phone number."

I've missed this part of my family. Twelve years of memories are all I have.

"I need to get your address because your Aunt Kay left you something in her will."

I used to be bitter about how things turned out. How it seemed my sister and I didn't matter any more. Now I know that it was just life that got in the way.

"They found her on Saturday. At this point, we think she had a heart attack. Just like her son. In the same chair."

Poor, poor Aunt Kay lost both her husband and her only child to heart attacks. Now she can rest between them.

"Your grandmother updated me on all that has been going on in your life. I'm real proud of you. Your dad would be real proud, too."

And those tears I'm usually so good at holding back, I'm not doing so well today.

46 comments:

lizspin said...

Oh my! Time, tears, and heartache wasted!

Two years before he died, my mother found out that her estranged brother had lost his wife at a very early age and raised his two children alone. . . less than an hour away from us. . .

Jan said...

I'm so sorry, Beth. I'm estranged from my father's family, too, and I'll never get that phone call. Ever.

Big hugs, girl, and I'm available to talk about ex-wives and second marriages any time you want.

beth said...

so sorry to hear this. i hope that you are able to mend the rift a little now. my thoughts are with you.

Mrs. K said...

Oh so sad...I'm sorry.

But I don't know you personally and think you are great- so I'm pretty darn sure your dad would be so freaking proud of you it's not even funny.

Sadly enough I've been mentally ready (I think) for that phone call to call about my mother-

and you know curiosity is KILLING me here but I won't go there.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

This made me tear up too Beth. Sorry they weren't there for you when you were young but hope this is a new beginning...

dana said...

Family, even in the best of situations, can represent a lot of pain in so many forms. The fact she had to track your number down......as for my family, there's not enough of us left to even need a tracker.

only a movie said...

Oh Beth.
This has me going. I've been a heap of tears all night. (we've got some family stuff too).
It says a lot that she tracked you down.
Hang in there.
xxxxoooo

Candice said...

I'm so sorry Beth.

Go ahead and let it out.

Deb said...

Hugs being sent your way. And go ahead and cry - lots. You will feel so much better afterwards - promise. Take care.

Kulio said...

Oh, that is just beautiful. Some of my family were estranged from us for years - we didn't know whether they wanted to be with us, they didn't know whether we wanted them...but finally one of us reached out and now we are closer than close - so even if this is just a small opening - oh, take it - I bet they want you and miss you.

otin said...

I don't think that it is ever too late to build relationships with family that you don't really know, someone just has to take the time to make the relationship. Often, these people only stay away from you because they think of you as a stranger, and your life has no effect on their life. Bloodlines are a good common ground for developing relationships with people! No one was probably shunning you, it was probably that they were so self absorbed in their lives. Have a good cry, but maybe this can be a new beginning also!

Kristina P. said...

I am so sorry for you loss, Beth. I hope you can reconnect with your family.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Hang in there, Beth. I think some of the commenters here have the right idea. Use this as a starting point, and build from there.

sun lover said...

Oh Beth what a wonderful post, I can only imagine how hard you cried over those words, I teared up just reading it...

I think Mrs. K said it clearly, I don't know you personally, but from what I read about you, I know your father would be extremely proud of you! You are so good at what you do, you make me look at my daughters principal with a completely different set of eyes.

Sorry for your loss. I hope this one phone call becomes an olive branch for all of you!

♥ Braja said...

Oh, Beth...that is lovely...cry, girl...xx

Beth said...

Thanks for all the comments, advice, and support. Maybe this WILL be the beginning of being a part of that side of the family again.

M.J. said...

Beth, this was a great post. I really like how you interjected your thoughts between your Aunt's words. I know exactly how it feels to be half-listening to someone's words--especially when they're giving you bad news--while thoughts race through your head, causing your head to pound and mouth to go dry.

I am really sorry for your loss. You can't blame yourself for falling out of touch with these family members. It happens. We are all too busy with day-to-day life. I hope you do become closer to your family after this experience.

Marinka said...

I am so sorry. sometimes it's best not to try to stop the floodgates.

Fidgeting Gidget said...

Thinking of you, Beth. I know family stuff like that is hard and there's always the thoughts of what could have been. But like others said above, I think it says a lot that she tracked you down, and there's still time....it's never too late.

lakeviewer said...

You must have all kinds of feelings on this one. I hope you get to reunite and reconnect.

Gaston Studio said...

So sorry Beth, but so glad she was able to track you down. Like Otin said so eloquently, this may be a new beginning.

My heart goes out to you.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Beth, I'm sorry for your loss. I read 30 years of sadness between the lines.

Sending love and support from Los Angeles. xo

dizzblnd said...

I posted a comment to this yesterday... sigh.

I hope this 4th isn't full of sorrow for you, but full of joy as you drink a martini in her her honor and feel her presence as she is always with you.

If it feels right, you can write messages on helium filled white balloons and send them to Heaven.

Just make sure you are clear of the power lines (lesson learned the hard way)



Big hugs to you girl!

K13 said...

i can only imagine how the flood gates opened. I got teary-eyed just reading this.

HUGS!!

followthatdog said...

I'm so sorry. But you know she's right. You have made a life for yourself that would have made you father proud. I'm all teary just reading this, I can't imagine how weepy you were after living it.

TechnoBabe said...

It's never too late. Maybe it is a good thing that the phone call awakened feelings in you of wanting a relationship with your dad's side of the family. The key word is family.

Ann's Rants said...

Thinking of you. What a shock to have these old wounds torn open again with a phone call.

Peace to you,

Ann

Captain Dumbass said...

I lost contact with my father's side of the family so early on that it didn't even mean anything when they started to pass.

Have a good cry.

Michel said...

Oh Beth! I'm soooo sorry!! I hope this can be a new start for you with that side of the family. Clearly, they didn't forget you - you were in her will and all. I hope you can mend any rift!

This has been a tough week all around. I can't wait to get to July.

carma said...

I don't know what to say :-( Hoping maybe you can establish some new relationships with your dad's side of the family. They still have you in their thoughts...

Unseen Rajasthan said...

So sad to hear that ..But those who are near to heart never go far they are with us always now,then and forever...Unseen Rajasthan

Funny Girl said...

Beth, cry all you want to...Let it all out. It's healthy.

Reinvent Dad said...

I'm so sorry Beth. Death brings back floods of memories and emotions (good and bad). The point is to pull out of the grief, sorrow, guilt, etc., and spin it around to the positive. Easier said than done.

Yeah, I'm Still Here... said...

Oh Beth, I'm so sorry honey! I'm glad you were in their thoughts at least but wish you could have been more in their lives. Hopefully they'll realize their loss and now you'll get that chance.

♥{BIG HUG}♥

Phat Mama said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It seems a rather dumb time to let you know that you have an award for your amazing blog, over on mine. But maybe it will make you smile for a moment.

Fragrant Liar said...

Must be a whole lot of stuff in the air, as I've had my fair share too this week. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt, but glad that your other aunt made the decision to call you and bring you in on your dad's family's stuff. Difficult as the news may be and, in my mind, boggling that the contact didn't come sooner, at least it did come and now you have opportunities in front of you. We are a strange species, aren't we? Hugs.

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

sniffling right alongside you...

Midwest Mommy said...

I am so sorry. I have tears with you right now.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I'm so sorry, Beth. Sending big hugs your way. It is wonderful, even if late, to realize that you meant so much to her even tho you weren't a part of each other's lives all this time.

smiles4u said...

I am sorry. This brought tears to me too. I think it's good for you to cry and let it out. I don't think it's ever too late and I hope that through this you can reconnect with them. I agree, your father would be so proud of the woman you have become.

Jason, as himself said...

Oh, wow. That's quite a story.

On a lighter, less reverent note: I hope she left you something good!

Forgive me.

Mama Kat said...

The same thing happened to us after my Dad died...we still see that family some, but feel so unwelcome sometimes. I don't know why. We just don't fit in anymore. Sad. But you're right...life just kind of happens like that.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Nice post. I happened on your blog via Rosaria at sixtyfivewhatnow. I'm originally from GA but have lived in TX for most of my adult life, since 1975. I was from a small GA town...

Courtney said...

This broke my heart. I can't imagine what that felt like. You have been in my thoughts ever since I got back home. Love you, Courtney.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

oh...i have goosebumps reading this!

Southern Drawl said...

I know that's hard. We had hardly any contact with my dad's folks as well. I don't think they realize it's incumbent on them to invite the extended family in...Sad....