Thursday, January 8, 2009


I mailed a birth announcement to all the relatives a few weeks after Baby was born. I received email acknowledgements from a few of Mom's relatives. I received a card and gifts from my father's one sister and her two children. These are the cousins that I was especially close to growing up. We spent every summer together. This is also that Aunt that graciously took us in for my Nana's funeral. We stayed at her house, despite my father's anger that his family would welcome us. She incurred the wrath of my father over that, despite the fact that she told Sister and I (and presumably my father) that she was not taking sides.

The Baby announcement I sent to my father's brother came back with a new address notation. I sent the card to the new address, wondering why I hadn't known they had moved. This uncle and his wife are not that much older than me. I've always been close to them. The summer I was "banished" to the north, I stayed with them quite frequently. When Sister and I visited the summer of 2002, we gathered at their house more than once and kept in touch via email for awhile. When Nana died, we met at their house to discuss the arrangements. However, Uncle got put in the middle by my father and I fear he has chosen Dad's side.

As is customary, I sent holiday picture cards with a letter to all the relatives. It's just a newsy letter about the events of the past year. I received return holiday cards from the one aunt and my two cousins. My aunt also emailed me a note of appreciation about how much she enjoyed my annual letter. She and her two children email every so often. My cousins have children now and we all exchange pictures.

I heard nothing from anyone else. No return card. No acknowledgement. No email. Nothing.

Two days ago I received some pictures via email from my aunt. Included were photos of the traditional Christmas Eve gathering. There were all my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I didn't even recognize some of the cousins because they had grown so much. Two have graduated high school now. One has finished college. One just had a baby - I didn't even know she was pregnant. My aunt and uncle moved over a year ago.

I found out all these details by contacting my cousin on facebook and asking him what was up. He filled me in on the highlights, including the fact that he and his wife are expecting twins. My aunt responded to my request for an update by saying, "you know [other aunt] - she's not good at keeping people informed." I think it was her way of not getting involved.

It is so sad seeing all those pictures. My father was not present and I have no idea about any involvement he has with that family. I know part of the situation is caused by the fact that my Nana has passed and she was the glue that held everyone together. However, a large part is that the family has chosen my father. It's sad to see how everyone has grown and not to be a part of it. I realize we are far away, but a simple two line email would be nice. Some acknowledgement of our efforts to reach out would be nice. An invitation to visit, even if they know it is too far for us to come, would be nice.

I've grown accustomed to the fact that my mother and father each chose their new spouse over me. But why did the extended family have to take sides too? I never did anything to them, yet I've been rejected....again.


Kahless said...

Rejection is hard. I am sorry you are feeling this.

mssc54 said...

Do you think it may be possible that you are reading too much into some of this?

We never do cards at Christmas but we have friends/relatives that are faithful in sending them.

I too had cousins that I spent every single summer with. Actually, my BEST memories as a child are with them. However, today we all have our own children, grandchildren, etc. and live hundreds of miles apart. I occassionally call to catch up with them. I don't remember the last time they initiated contact.

Sometimes we mistake our priorities for what others' priorities should be.

It's likely that some of this is not at all personal.

How can you believe that they are sitting and intentionally thinking of not contacting you? As marvalous as you are?!

lawyerchik said...

[[[HUG]]] Enola - I agree with MSSC54: "How can you believe that they are sitting and intentionally thinking of not contacting you? As marvelous as you are?!"

Take it easy today!!

Enola said...

Thanks for the compliments Lawyer and Mssc.

As far as reading too much into it, I'm not sure. I think you are right, some of it is not personal. Some of it is probably and attempt to buy the peace with my father - their sibling. And part is probably the fact that my Nana is gone and she really facilitated/mandated the communication.

mssc54 said...

I forgot to tell you that me and the Mrs. went to see FIRE PROFF and both enjoyed it.

Funny thing is... I don't usually tear up at movies.

Must have been poor indoor air quality or sumthin. ;)

Ethereal Highway said...


Angel said...

All it would take is one of them being uncomfortable with the situation with your father and that could lead to your not being included. And that is if indeed it is intentional. It may or may not be. It may be that you would remind them of your father. It could be that they don't like your husband or they feel that gatherings are insane enough already and they don't have the energy to make an effort to include you. They may be doing all they can do to get to the gatherings themselves, forget about trying to include those who aren't there.

I too am the one who usually initiates contact so your post hit a nerve for me. Reading your post has made me realize that maybe it isn't about me, either. It may not be personal.