Dear Family

24 Apr

Dear Family,

Throughout the past eight months, I have been experiencing a new atmosphere and world of unfamiliar surroundings.  In my last moments on earth, family and friends calmed my unsettled nerves with promises and assurances of the eternal peace to come.  You all claimed I would embark upon a new destination in which only those who represent peace, love, and happiness reside.  A destination where I would be completely content and free of worry and pain—a destination where I could watch you all, my children, with blissful eyes, maternal pride, and euphoria as I recall our struggles and triumphs as a family.  It now disheartens me that your promise of my afterlife was hollow…and the claims of fellowship un-kept.

From diapers to weddings, from laughter to tears…moments with my family powered my happiness.  The walls of our home were flooded with pictures providing memories of our cherished moments together.   Family picnics, monthly birthdays, and the infamous, yet chaotic, Christmas gatherings are imprinted into the minds of us all.  There is no denying the bonds shared while carving three turkeys or preparing numerous trash bags full of rolls.  While at times our unique family endured conflicts and struggles, our clan managed to find safety and love among each other.  As friends came and went, jobs changed, and we all grew, we consistently remained a bonded family.  Though often showing our love through sarcasm and humor, in our hearts the meaning of the word “family” was known. Family reunions, holidays, and other various events never went uncelebrated.  Amazing really, how the love of two people could spread first to nine beautiful children and then continue to stretch to their spouses, and eventually to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  The moment my sickness was discovered…you all joined my side and attempted through every measure to make my final moments as pain-free and full of love as possible.

However, as my physical pain eased, my heart was bombarded with emotional pain.  Nine adults bonded by blood began ignoring the well being of each other and turned to hate and anger.  The he-said/she-said, he-did/she-did solves nothing, but rather destroys bit by bit the strand that holds us all together.  How can one family undergo such destruction?  Once I passed, did it become an attitude of “out of sight out of mind”?  Because surely if I was on your mind…I hope that you would realize—with every hurtful statement you make, I am hurt.  Every destructive action you take destroys me.  And every effort intended to inflict pain, pains me.  You are brothers and sisters, family; regardless, you are blood and perpetually will be.  Every step of distancing not only hurts each other, but it also hurts me.  I find these attitudes of hate foreign and unfamiliar.   When I think of you all, I remember the love…how can you all think only of hate?  A group of people once full of compassion and bonding are now flanked with resentment and spite.  I only hope that you all, my children, never have to experience the slow, agonizing horror of watching your children destroy each other, themselves, and the ideals of family all together.  I hope and pray that when it is your time to pass, you can look back on children that uphold the honor and love with which you raised them.  Perhaps, you will watch from above and see a family that has gathered to reminisce and laugh over the happy memories that have been compiled to write your family story.  Maybe, just maybe, you will reside with complete physical and emotional peace….

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.”—Anthony Brandt

– Alyssa

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