Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time lost ...

She is gone two years today.

They never told us she was sick. My father, her own brother, only knew a week before.


He lost so much time. We lost so much time.


Can I say for certain I would have flown home to see her, just once, before she left? Not truly. Not necessarily, but I would have loved the chance to try.


How is it that family pulls together at times of hurt, and pulls apart over the years? In such a way - such a way that we know of nothing else. No other way to function.


This person. My father's sister. We lost four years together over our lives. All because of stupidity (it's easy for me to say it was hers, he is MY father, after all). My grandmother was sick and she never came. She took my cousins away from us. For so long. Too long.


I can still remember the day, so many years ago, we saw them again for the first time. At sixteen years old I knew how relevant it was. How incredibly important that they were there. We were a family again.


Friends may come and go from our lives, but families, families are supposed to be forever - right? Mine was. Mine is. Mine should be.


We lost my grandmother. By then we had reconnected. She, her children, a part of our lives again.


My cousin lost her husband. A loss felt to the core. We wouldn't have been anywhere else.


Then she got sick. Years later. So much time gone by. A different version of the beast. She beat it. My father, my mother. Stood strong. Stayed by her. Sat at the hospital with her children as she made her way through. And she did.


My mom got sick. Again, the beast. She supported. She loved. She made my mother laugh with her crazy ways.


Somewhere along the way one of my cousins got married. On one of the holiest days of the year. We missed it. We shut doors. We lost what we had gotten back. We - I - have yet to forgive.


And then we lost my aunt. Taken away too young. Too soon. And too quickly. I try to forgive them for withholding this hurt. For keeping my father away from her as long as they did. But it's not easy. It's not easy to just let it go.


As today I know when he looks at the calendar he feels the sting. He knows she is gone. He knows how much time he lost out on. How is that fair? It's not - truly. But we forgive. We move on. We let go. We know that there is so little time, that to hold a grudge, even one we find to be worthy, is not worth it after all.


For time flies by. So quickly. We lose what we have in an instant. And then we're left with so little. The pain. The memories. The hurt. If we don't let that go where does that leave us?


I miss you, Tanta. I forgive you for leaving us. Perhaps that is not fair, not even something I am permitted to say. And yet - I do. Because I have to find a way to let go. Be at peace with my loss. And love her, still.


11 comments:

Stephanie said...

"We know that there is so little time, that to hold a grudge, even one we find to be worthy, is not worth it after all."

Andrea, that is the absolute best line in your post. The absolute best. There are a lot of great things about this post, but that line? is the bomb!

I love the way we cover a lifetime in such few words. It's like we were looking at a movie strip yet, listening to it at the same time. Very well done.

I hope you find your peace.

Erica M. said...

Wow, this was a good one. Is it partly true? I feel that it is. You wrote about two losses: one that is found in a fractured family and one found in death and mourning. Well done.

Kim said...

I could relate to this. On the one hand sometimes things other people do seem unforgivable but it's we who suffer from harboring these resentful feelings. Sigh.

Patricia Iles said...

Well done. Love and loss, love and gain...all so inextricably linked. I have that special Tanta in my life, too. I'm fortunate to have her still, at least for a while longer.

Tanta? Holland?

Dafeenah said...

I love the way you have written this. Short bursts of images. One after the other. It somehow increases the impact of the words.

Very well written.

Patty @ A Day in My NYC said...

Such a powerful post. I have also seen this with my dad and his siblings...they get into disagreements in cycles. It's sad and pointless at the same time. Im thankful to have one sister only because its just the two of us....always! Fantastic post!

multitaskingmumma said...

So sad when there is turmoil in a family.
When disagreements lead to years without each other.
Great post.

Galit Breen said...

This is such a painful post. So much loss.

This line is so achingly, strikingly true: "How is it that family pulls together at times of hurt, and pulls apart over the years? "

I think, that it's okay to still be working through forgiveness. It wouldn't be real if it was forced and quick.

I'm so sorry for your hurt, and so thankful that you chose to write about it.

Shell said...

Family can comfort us like no other...and hurt us like no other.

Mandyland said...

This one really hit home. I lost an uncle last year, a man who was such a large part of my childhood. And I was asked not to come to the memorial because of something small. Something so small that I still am not quite sure I'm not forgetting something larger. I mean, to shut out your family, wouldn't it have to be huge?

I'm so sorry you have this same issue.

Elena said...

This had to be a tough post to write. I'm so sorry for all the loss. At the end where you ask if it's even ok to forgive someone for leaving - yes, it is. You shouldn't question your feelings. I loved this "How is it that family pulls together at times of hurt, and pulls apart over the years? In such a way - such a way that we know of nothing else. No other way to function." - so true.