When my grandmother, the woman who raised me, passed away at the age of 59, my life shattered. She was my best friend and my rock… such as she was for my entire family. We were shattered. We were fragmented. We were ripped apart. To add fuel to an already explosive situation, my grandfather remarried six months later. As I drove two hours from college to the house I grew up in each weekend to help with the house work, I had to spend tireless hours listening to all sides of the family argument about how horrible it was that he had remarried, how despicable his new wife was, and how evil his children were.
I’d never been stuck in the middle so badly before in my life. Try as I might, there was no middle ground. The family bickering was too much, and it pulled me apart at the seams. When I needed the support the most, when we all did, they were too busy fighting, and I was too busy unwittingly taking the woman’s place.
I was utterly alone in storm of feelings of hurt, bitterness, and grief.
The ceiling fell out one day. It had to, and then I had to leave the place I called home. For years, I searched for something to hold on to. I called a truce with my grandfather and created a rocky relationship with his new wife and him. I finally made peace with my mother after years of estrangement due to her addictions and lack of stability. I made it through college, but I felt like I had lost something more than just my grandmother, but I couldn’t place it.
Finally, I met someone. She took time with me. She listened to me as I talked about the years that had happened before. She let me be the emotional wreck that I couldn’t before, that I couldn’t let myself be. I introduced her to my mother. They got along fantastically. I graduated. We settled down. In her, I found what I had been missing. Suddenly, I realized what it was that I had been missing for so long. I had found stability with my mother, grandfather, his wife, and my partner. I found my family again.
Family is the glue and support that keeps life stable. This I believe.
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