Quite often I come to the conclusion that I do not understand others. Peoples words and acts have often become mysterious to me. And in some cases that makes me sad while in others I cherish my not understanding. In between getting up this morning and making early morning coffee it hit me again. Today is a day where someone who was once my sister by birth once will stand on a graveyard and mourn her husband who recently died of cardiac arrest. I have no idea where in town that will be because I, the family freak in her eyes, the black sheep, are not invited. My children by the way are, but they won’t go either. Of course I don’t understand my former sister’s thinking as we are no longer related mentally. It is sad though.
So for a while I remember the years when we were still together as a family and I remember the good times but unfortunately also the bad times. The times my life was a mess and they didn’t care, the times when I was in hospital and they never laid an eye on me. The time, not so long ago, when I was evicted from my house because I didn’t have the money to live off and they looked the other way. And the time when I told that woman, once my sister, that I was who I was and would have to go through some changes to stay alive. The ice cold blue eyes staring back at me in that conversations have left a scarr on my heart so bad that I know it will never heal. It was the day I lost my sister who was once so valuable to me.
Eight years have past since that conversation only a few kilometers from our respective homes. Eight years of disregard and being shoved aside as garbage. Eight years in which my now dead brother in law loathed me for who I am. Sure the words were different sometimes, but eyes don’t lie. Eight years in which we’ve grown so far apart that I have come to the conclusion that it’s hard to understand that we were once family.
Photo by Erwin Olaf: ‘Grief – Grace’
Of course I’m sorry for that lonely woman who is now even lonelier than ever, looking down at a coffin. Of course I wish she would not have to take this blow. She is old now and alone. But it’s what happens to people who discard others, they become lonely. And as things are, being the black sheep, the uninvited, I say goodbye to those who were once family but who, by their acts, do not deserve to be regarded as such by me.
My life goes on, and after this morning’s puja at which I dedicated some thoughts to the deseased, I closed the book. Without tears in my eyes. After the death of my parents I have concluded that the only blood related family I have left are my children. No other relatives are alive anymore. The ones who are related by blood do not really live because their eyes and hearts are cold, they live in another world and I feel blessed not to be part of that. They are not my family any more. My real family is living in another place. A few streets away is a dear sister that I learned to love dearly and my younger brother lives in Nepal, within weeks he’ll move to the States and my other brothers and sisters and inbetweens are always there in my life. They are my friends, they are my family. Because there’s a light in their eyes, a sparkle, whenever we see each other. They do not judge me for what I am but for who I am and what I do. They are human.
Time to go, catch some sun on a terrace somewhere and let more joyful thoughts come through and celebrate love, friendship and life.
Alice © 2012