The meaning of family

I wasn’t planning on being back with my family this month, and my husband and I are planning a simple family get together of the holidays of just us two for Christmas and thanksgiving. My father is more than aware of our feelings towards his family, we just are kind of like outcasts. I don’t know but being the only girl in the family it was like I was being punished for not being a boy. My cousins were always better than me, doing more important things, and I was used to being ignored in family gatherings and I would prepare with a book going to Christmas or thanksgiving.

It’s like they have a favorites system, and he is the lowest on the list. As I’ve heard his grief over the phone when he found out his mother passed, to him trying to control his emotions in the days after it hits me like a knife to the heart.

Every family has their skeletons, their issues, their imperfections, some more than others. And, he is my family and we have had our differences and we have had our arguments but it falls away when death is present. Especially when it is one of the most important person in your life, your mother, is the one that you have lost. His grief is raw and I can’t ignore how hard this must be for him, because it’s written on his face.

I wish I could offer my father more comfort than what I know what to do. I wish I could do more than just patting him on the back, and closing the lap top when he keeps staring at his mothers obituary. We know that it is for the best, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of it.

My memories turn back to some of my favorite moments with my grandmother doing what we love, horseback riding together. Her affection she had for the school horse I loved before I bought my very own horse. Her stories of riding when she was a kid, and these are the memories I have of even my great grandmother which stand out.

My great grandmother always talked about her child, my grandmother, and riding in their backyard. My great grandmother was a very sweet and kind woman, and she lived to almost one hundred years old. Her wake was the first I attended, and I didn’t understand why everyone was so sad or what had happened since I was that young. I thought the point of these meetings was not to cry, since my mother made sure never to cry in front of us that I shouldn’t cry for what had happened. From what I could see you should never cry in front of someone, so I made sure to never do it in front of someone as I got older.

I feel for my father and it just aches in my heart when I see him staring off with a lost expression on his face. I may not be able to take his grief away but at least I can be here to give him the support he needs.

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