I don’t often write about my parents.
The memories are too painful and maybe not for the reasons you may think.
I had (have) a complicated relationship with my parents, especially with my mother.
My father passed away more than 10 years ago and my mother left us in the middle of the pandemic. But none of it seems real.
I sometimes reach for my phone to call my mom and then I remember she won’t be there to answer.
I still have Miami weather on my phone’s weather app.
My parents’ phone numbers are still in my contacts list.
I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I remember they’re no longer alive. That I’m estranged from my only brother and don’t have any desire to repair our relationship at this point. That the family I grew up with is no longer my family. That I only have memories of my childhood family and many of those memories have been erased by time or fear or sadness or all of the above.
On a quiet, still day like today I wish it could be different. But I no longer delude myself into thinking that I can change my relationship with my brother or his family.
I’m not even sure I can reconcile my relationship with my parents or the rest of my family, although I’ve tried often. In my head. On paper. In therapy.
It is what it is.
I just wish it wasn’t.
I watch my husband and his siblings – all seven of them – interact with each other and wish I’d had a similar experience with my brother growing up. I think I’d be a different person now in all the ways I’m not.
I’m so happy that my three children have each other’s backs, and will always have each other’s backs, no matter what.
And, then I am grateful for the family my husband and I created. From scratch. From love. Mistakes and all. When I get sad about my own family, I remind myself of this simple truth.
Cross posted to the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Story Challenge.