Those who hope and dream and look for a brighter dawn may be standing unprotected from the method love will arrive at their door. For all the joy of a wonderful Thanksgiving, the first without our parents, my siblings have managed to balance it with a Christmas of confusion, hurt and no clear way to find the light switch again. One of us, the eldest, has been away in another country for almost 40 years and after Mom's death decided to return and live among us, bringing her own brand of opinions. She doesn't know most of us at all.
With all good intent, she decided to find our origins, reaching far back into Italy and Ireland. Facts about your heritage are wonderfully soothing and bring a completeness of being nothing else can. If only it has stayed a simple framework of our ancestors.
This is the eldest sister of eight, Marianne. She chose to write a brief description of only one of us, leaving nothing about the others. Her very basic facts about many were inaccurate. She neglected so much. Many were hurt and I foresee months, perhaps years, of open wounds. Marianne is at a complete loss as to who her younger siblings are, who we've grown into, what we've become in this part of our lives. Making a very unwise choice, she centered on just one of us and proceeded to canonize him. He was "most loved" he was most congenial, most handy, most generous, most perfect. Even if true, it shouldn't have been said. Leaving nothing about the rest of us and not even mentioning some, such as the children of the children, her good intentions have caused a tornado of pain and harsh emails rushing between us, back and forth, back and forth, and nothing is being accomplished.
Every family trying to introduce themselves after years apart will run into hard facts. They needn't always be made part of the family history. For instance, our beloved Father had two affairs in his lifetime which each of us processed differently then filed away. Marianne chose to include his paramours, by name and deed, which threw one sister into a whirlwind of nasty feelings and regret. We all got copies. It reminds me of when my parents would yell and scream, throw things, and we'd all run to our corners, pre-arranged and separate, to wait out the storm. That's what we've all done - hurt and confused, we've all run to our "corners" to nurse our wounds.
My brothers and sisters are in pain. I can't help them. Marianne is in her own hell because she, as eldest, never being present, had myths woven about her life in Canada which we believed when our Mother described them. "Marianne can't make Christmas this year, her job is to important" and such like. It turned out to be a lie. She didn't come home because she wanted to preserve her mental stability. It seems she disliked our Mother and simply couldn't abide her. Yet she was there to help when Mom became fatally ill. Confusing, and brave. But misunderstood by others who see different motives. Yes, my siblings are ill. Very dysfunctional. Not like other families with problems, not at all. We've somehow evolved the ability to kill with a word. Or with silence.
Here I am in my Journal trying to vent something I don't understand. People I love are hurting and I can't do a thing, I can barely share my own pain. What is a family anyway ... we're scattered, our parents are gone, some dislike the others emmensely, I wonder what's next ...