I recall my childhood vividly and fondly. My memories are surrounded by adventure and comrades. I spent my weekends and summers at my grandmother’s house along with my siblings and cousins. I was lucky enough to have four older brothers and ten guy cousins. My sister and I were the only girls. We were broken up into two groups. My older siblings along with my four older cousins would hang out while I hung out with my younger cousins. I have the best memories with my family. We spent our Summers getting into all kinds of shenanigans. MY grandmother’s home was huge. It had a circular yard that went around the house. There was a guest house along with the main house. My grandmother purchased the home with her two sons when I was a baby. The house was destroyed when they purchased it. It was had fire damage and it was a fixer-upper. The house was special and had a sort of magical energy to it. We grew up hearing the adult discuss supernatural occurrences in the house, which were completely unexplained. That is a story for another time.
It was one of my cousin’s weddings this week. I sat at a circular table with fancy flowers and plates. I started at the groom and he seemed like a total stranger to me. I looked around the room full of mostly strangers. The strong united cousins I once had was completely shattered to pieces. It has been years since we have all spent time together. Sometimes I wonder how did this even happen? How could a family so strong, break so fiercely. At times, I think about trying to repair the relationships. I thought about inviting everyone to my parent’s house and forcing everyone to talk and clear the air but it doesn’t feel right. I have the impression that my cousins are still the kids I use to hang out with but I know that isn’t accurate. We have changed and grown up in different ways.
Although my childhood with my family was colorful, it started to change when the teenage years hit. Personalities changed and so did priorities. I was always known as the grandma because I would try to guide my cousins. My cousins all went to the same school which helped them all create a bond while my siblings and I were at a different school. Even though we started growing apart, one of the best memories I have with my family is during my brother’s engagement in Canada. We all flew out to Canada and had the best time. It was one of the last times we all got along and enjoyed each other’s company. Soon after that, we started to break apart. The cherry on top was when Yama, my brother passed away at the age of thirty-four. I was hurt that my cousins that I grew up with weren’t there for me. I barely heard from them. A series of issues happened during the time my brother passed away including two different arguments with two different cousins and so much more. I was already pulling away from them and this just closed the case. We saw each other once in a while but it was never the same. It wasn’t just toward me but they all had issues amongst themselves too.
I think being a female was one of the problems too. They were boys and boys like to talk about girls. I didn’t party either and my cousins all got into drinking and other stuff. I didn’t fit in anymore. It made me sad. It still makes me sad.
So here I was at my cousin’s wedding, with half of my cousins not there and some of my own siblings not showing up either. As these strangers filled up the dance floor, I remembered my brother’s engagement party in Canada. I remembered how happy we all were. Yama was still alive then too. We danced the entire night away. It was one of the best nights of my life. Now here I am, sitting at a table, wondering what happened to all of us?
I am grateful for the memories I have with my family. I didn’t have the best elementary life so my cousins were my best friends. Now I do understand that I was not their favorite because of my know it all personality. I also understand that I was blessed to have them for that short period of time. I wish them nothing but health and happiness. Somedays I really miss them all but I think everything happens for a reason and maybe someday we will all find each other again. Right now, we all have very different lifestyles.
Still, it’s funny how life works.
I wonder if they ever wonder too, how did we get here?