Day 19 – SOL March Challenge – My Parents

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.

8 thoughts on “Day 19 – SOL March Challenge – My Parents

  1. mrssurridge says:

    It is interesting how some families make it through all that life brings and some families don’t. My family is spread out all over the country and not that interested in seeing each other anymore. And my husband’s family is pretty much the same way. I like how you pointed out that families change. It’s sad to lose the old one, but such a blessing to have the one we are in now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The contrast in the different family circles you describe here makes me glad you created and cultivated the ones that lift you up! My favorite line is the single two-word sentence: From scratch. It’s like they say about books: If the one you want doesn’t exist, write it. And you are!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These lines, simple though they are, struck me as deeply true. “It is what it is./ I just wish it wasn’t.” I am glad that you have created a different kind of family – “From scratch. From love.” How powerful those lines are! And still the other lingers in the rest of the post. Thank you for sharing honestly. Families are complicated; we all do well to be reminded of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ELISA! How on earth is it that I’m stumbling across you in the SOL challenge nearly a decade after our paths crossed in Ecuador?

    Second, this is a beautifully crafted slice that resonates so much with me. I often wonder even about the relationships with my siblings. How did some survive our childhood and early adulthood intact and others crumbled in the same amount of time after experiences the same traumas and joys? The way you switch from long complex sentences and shorter ones that still carry so much weight is lovely to read. Thank you for sharing this part of your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Heidi. Thank you for your comment. As another slicer commented, “families are complicated” and yet we keep trying to get it right. The way that different children survive or even thrive in their families of origin is always an enigma. How can we as parents impact that favorably is a big question. Nice to see you here again.


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