Family Ties

It’s been a great week. It’s only Tuesday but if I look back over the last seven days or so, I would qualify them as pretty awesome. Awesome is a word I would like to avoid using, but sometimes it just fits. Over the last several days I’ve received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from the man in my life and I spent a great weekend hanging out with him. We shared laughs over dinner, listened to music on my balcony, checked out some live music Sunday afternoon, and exchanged stories and confidences on his couch. (This is one of the reasons I didn’t write a Sunday Post last weekend; I was out having a great day.) But as great as all of that was (and like I said, it was quite awesome) one of the highlights happened late Friday afternoon when I met Little Man Lou for the first time.

I’ve been reluctant, maybe afraid is more like it, to refer to him as my grandson. I would have been even if I was still married to his grandfather, but now that I’m not it’s even more fuzzy. But his parents told me I’m his Abuela, so I will call him my nieto. He had his first birthday last month and between the pandemic, moving, and a divorce, I hadn’t had a chance to meet him until now. The family was in the area to see other family for a few days and they took a little detour to visit me and spend some time with me and the kids. Unfortunately Jeremy had to work but Allyson was able to join us and I spent several hours listening to everybody talk about everything from soccer to work to parenting to pets and life goals. I participated in the conversation, but I was content just being with them and watching Louis interact with his parents and everything around him.

When they first got out of the car and we exchanged hugs, a few tears escaped. I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the joy of seeing them and I was touched by the fact that they wanted to see me. I wiped them away before they noticed and I was able to keep it together while they were here. But that night as I lay in bed the tears returned. I couldn’t stop them. I wasn’t sad. I was moved by their kindness. I was moved by the fact that they want me in their lives and had made the effort to see me. We’ve been in touch pretty regularly over the last year, all the kids have been wonderful really. I couldn’t ask for more from them. I feel very fortunate and am so grateful.

I haven’t had the same luck with everyone on that side of the family, and it still hurts when I think about the lost connections. I miss them, and still hope that one day my messages will be returned. It makes me feel even more appreciative of everyone who I am in touch with, those who don’t make me feel like an outcast. I know it happens more often than not when a couple splits up, but I honestly didn’t expect it to happen to me. I have a hard time letting go. When I cut the cords of attachment I wasn’t trying to cut all the cords.

Some may wonder why I bother trying. There are plenty of people in my life who are supportive, kind, and generous with their love and attention. I don’t need those who aren’t, they might say. And they would be right, I don’t. But I want them. Not because they’re connected to him in some way, but because they mean something to me. They always will. Sure, I liked some more than others (isn’t that what family is like for everyone?). And I wasn’t in touch with them all the time before. But now the fact that if I send a text message it will be completely ignored stings more than a little. So maybe some of that is my Taurus stubbornness, and pride, at play. I’ll let it go little by little, just like I had to let my husband go. I’ve reconciled with the fact that I have no idea where he lives now and that’s fine. For some reason I still want him to know that I’m OK, that I’m happy, even though I don’t owe him that information, or anything at all in fact. Much as I try to be cold and hard and unforgiving, I can’t help but want everyone to be happy in the end.

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