Thursday, December 9, 2010

Family reunions

I must have been 19 at the time. I had saved to buy a car of my own, so I could be independent and drive myself to school. One of the first things I did after buying this car, was visiting three aunts of mine that I hadn't seen in many years. Due to family disputes, us kids were no longer allowed to see our aunts/uncles/cousins. One of those aunts was my godmother, the other one has a personality pretty similar to mine and the other was my favorite auntie. I had missed my cousins growing up.

The first time I paid my godmother a visit, she didn't recognize me right away. After all, we had not seen each other for about 7 years. And kids do change quite a bit. I couldn't remember her exact address, but I drove around town to look for points of recognition. I knew I was in the neighborhood and although it had been even more than 7 years since I last visited them, I clearly remembered their house. So I sat there, in my car, in front of the house. Trying to figure out what I was going to say or how I was going to introduce myself. I was excited and anxious at the same time. Not knowing why my mother had made the decision to stop seeing both of her sisters and one of my father's sisters, I walked the steps to the door and rang the bell.

My godmother opened the door and it took her a few moments to realize who was at her doorstep. She was real happy to see me and it didn't take much to go on where we had left off so many years before..
It was good to hear that my godmother didn't hold any grudge against me. In fact, she had missed me too, but she couldn't find a way to keep in touch. I never blamed her for what had happened and I was happy to fix our relationship. After all, us kids had nothing to do with those family disputes..

We could say "l'histoire se répète". Due to family disputes, I'm no longer seeing my siblings. I'm sorry that my children can't see their cousins/aunts/uncles. They don't remember them at all, because it's been so long. Maybe, one day, they will get to know one another. I will never keep them from meeting their other side of the family. They know they have more family out there and they know I spent a big part of my youth without my aunts/uncles/cousins.

I tried to keep in touch with my sister and her daughter, but that contact was never encouraged from my sister's part. That's okay. I understand why. It's a shame I can't see her daughter grow up, but that's okay too. It was not my choice and she will always be welcome in our house. As will the children of my brother..

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