Friday, July 27, 2012

Blood is Thicker than Water (but not as thick as honey).

I can't say I exactly have writer's block, but rather writer's non-starter. Too much going on in my family life, in my personal life, and in my working life, and I don't know where to start.

As longtime readers know, my family is big and varied. Many members of my immediate family are actually stepfamily members but have been in my life so long and in so much depth that it's impossible to separate the real from the not real and what is "real" anyway? Each of my four families (mother's, father's, stepfather's, stepmother's) reacts to things like conflict, crisis, holidays (sometimes conflict and crisis lies within this category!), and the like in very different ways.

Due to this, I have a...confused... sense of what's normal. It's more like an occupational hazard that I have to just deal with. I have to juggle very different personalities on a constant basis and as my families have been hit hard lately with illness, death and just life that happens as the founding (in my view) matriarch and patriarch members of each family battle age.

Due to the nature of proximity, my coworkers are usually the ones who hear things first. They are two feet away when I get bad news, the first people I see in the morning if I'm distracted with news I've gotten the night before. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, divorce--my family has been hit hard in 2012.

During the latest bit of news that an aunt has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, I started to notice eyes glazing over- just a little bit. I could almost see their thought bubbles--"Didn't she have an aunt that just got cured of cancer? Is this a new aunt? Actually, doesn't she have an aunt only a few years older than her? Wait -- is this a different aunt? I actually thought she had an aunt just die? From ....lung cancer?"

Not only are all of those above statements true; all of these were/are different aunts. Some biological, some step. One not even related to anybody at all, but a family friend who we called "Aunt" for our whole lives.

Yeah, it's weird.

My grandfather--you pick the relation--was arrested last week. For what, I won't get into here for his privacy and mine, but he has been exhibiting symptoms of dementia for a long time and this was simply the catalyst to kick us in our collective asses, pull our collective heads out of the sand, and deal with this bad situation that's not going to magically fix itself. My sisters and I held a conference call -- yeah, as if I didn't do enough of those -- last weekend to try and figure out what we can do and what our roles will be. We are trying.

My grandfather was sent to a psychiatric institution for a mandatory hold, and then went back to jail yesterday. We bailed him out, and he is now home. We are figuring out what to do. Court is next week. I got a long text from a sister last night, to several of us, as she attempted to update us from afar. She said at the end..."Now is the time to knit ourselves together as a family. We need to be a strong unit for Nana and Pappaw, and we need to show that our family won't break."

Blood? Forget it. Those words were sweet as honey that sticks us together and flows through our veins, recognizing, knowing.

Remember me? I'm the one who loves you.

I'm driving to Kentucky in an hour.


liv said...

Oh, SJ, honey does indeed flow through your veins and I am glad to see it is a family trait. How sweet to have a sister who reaches out for you.

The Buddha said that life is suffering (dukkha - which can be translated many ways, but suffering is pretty much it) No one escapes it do they? Joy and happiness are intermittent pleasures that come through to keep us going. I hope there will be intermittent pleasures this weekend for you as you hold your sister's hand and do the work that has to be done. Good luck - thinking of you.

Ms. Moon said...

Well said, darling girl. Well said. Love just is.

Elizabeth said...

Wow. So much on your proverbial plate. I will think of you and send you courage and resilience as you carry your love forward --

A said...

Surrounded by the difficulties, complexity, tragedy and glazed
eyes there is a strong, fine core.

SJ said...

Thanks, each of you. Truly.