Familial

I wrote this WEEKS ago, but never got around to putting it up on the blog. It was dark and sleeting and we were bumping along the highway in a giant truck while pulling a trailer and…I started writing this to help pass the time. But I got suuuuper sleepy, and was yawning, and bleary-eyed, and we were getting major feedback from the empty 20 foot trailer behind us so it was the craziest most random jumble of thoughts in a Word Document. Hopefully its in some semblance of order now. Enjoy.

I got home last night to discover that my parking space in the driveway was consumed by the widest, tallest, whitest truck I had ever seen. I pulled a U in the cul-de-sac and was about to get pissy on whoever had the audacity to take up the entire driveway when the swagger of an approaching blonde stud made it all too obvious who would be the only person to own such a vehicle – my darling little brother.

To be fair, he’s not all that little anymore. He’s actually quite tall and thicc with two C’s. C-cups, that is. Kidding. Just because his pecs are bigger than my boobs doesn’t mean I should make bra jokes. He was wearing his usual ensemble of jeans, cowboy boots, and a t-shirt – in 40 degree weather. Lil Bro has officially landed stateside again after completing a job on Oahu. This is the little brother who moved to Hawaii a while back that I mentioned in Island Remedy. Also the same brother that worked with me in the “Village of Loneliville” in With Gratitude. [By the way, if you’re one of those people who’s on IG you can check out his various island frolics on @wanderingworker] Yep, he moves around a lot. But somehow we manage to stay connected in one way or another.

Now I am currently speeding down the interstate in a white jacked-up truck making my way up north with two of my siblings – my 22 year-old brother and my 20 year-old sister. Em’s in the back asleep. Lil Bro’s diving. And I’m riding shotgun. It’s wet, it’s sleeting, and it’s cold. There has been a very sudden death in my family so my family is doing what my family does best. We pull together as one giant herd of people to love, care for, and support each other. 

Lil Bro flew back from Hawaii on Tuesday to pick up his new truck and drove north to us on Wednesday. He and Em were supposed to then drive down to Texas for her spring break, but news of our uncle’s death changed plans, and now the three of us are making our way farther north tonight (Thursday) to attend the funeral and be with the family. As we chat and listen to music over the next 4 hours I think about how grateful I am that I don’t have to make this drive alone.

Alone – that’s the last thing I want to be right now. And I feel weirdly guilty that I’m afraid to be on my own right now. I’m grateful that even though I’m the stick-in-the-mud sister, I’m still good friends with my siblings and I love them very much. Even though we’ve grown up we’re still choosing to keep in contact with each other. We even choose to vacation together. I’m grateful for that.

We got to my grandparents around 10 o’clock that night. The next day we attended a private viewing for the family at a local church building. As the family members poured through the double doors and held each other as they cried it became quickly obvious that this is simply the way with our entire family. We love each other. We’re grateful for each other’s presence and support when we don’t want to be alone. I would guesstimate that half of the people in the building that day were family. And I’m not talking 4th cousins and whatnot – I’m talking close family. All my family had to do was express a loss and a need and everyone pulled together in one giant unit.

I found out that same day that my former boyfriend’s mom was with my uncle when he passed. She was right there in his ear while the paramedics tried to revive him – praying for him, begging him to come back to his family. His mom stayed with my family through it all. She helped my uncle’s boys select the needs for the funeral and the burial, and as a professional florist she worked with the funeral home to organize the entire day for the family – our family.

Hearing that broke my heart even more. Now that her son and I are separated it hurts even more to hear such wonderful truths about his family. They are angels. You should see the way they are with their sons. You should see the way their sons are with each other. They are they kind of family that pulls together in the good times and bad – just like mine. And seeing them pull together for my family just made the breakup that much more painful. Maybe it’s pathetic for me to verbalize it, but not only am I grieving the loss of my boyfriend – being a long-time member of his family would have been a serious blessing for sure.

Today’s post doesn’t have a point per se. It more just a moment of me admitting that I’ve been feeling some intense emotions lately. The years leading up to my adulthood have shown me that I have tried all sorts of masterful contortions to keep from feeling feelings that I don’t want to feel. Sometimes it just feels like too much. But… my sister and my therapist are encouraging me to allow my body to make itself safe to feel it’s emotions.

These days I feel like I am walking around in a teary haze. I’m sad and discouraged and lonely and grieving and so many things all wadded up in one. And I just don’t feel like being happy and cheerful. Why do people expect smiles when all you have are tears?

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