Do You Stay in Touch with Family?

Dear family on notice;

I have come to the realization that I must belong to one of those groups of people that are shunned by everyone around them for reasons never admitted out loud.

All though school, I weathered that, telling myself that there was nothing wrong with me; if they didn’t want to be my friend then it was their loss. I never really realized that my family treated me the same way. I think mom never let me see it or perhaps I was just selectively blind. I certainly know I can be that way easily enough.

However, over the last few years, the reality of it all has chiseled its way into my consciousness. Here is a list of your crimes:

Several years ago, I asked my family for a little financial help and justified the asking with ‘it would help us be able to make a living better, longer and above all, easier’. We could pay the loan back in a year or two. I was highly reluctant to ask because I was under the impression that, though you all were living comfortably, you weren’t rich. A certain inheritance has caused me to suspect that my family might not be as poor as I had assumed.

Over the years, I would call mom about once a month and she would give me all the latest updates on all the happenings around the family. She would tell me about all the cute, dorky, little things happening all around, about the births and even about the deaths of those I knew – all the latest news about the family and around the hometown. We would have a good laugh or share a tear together. Mother has died and she was put in the ground so fast that I wonder if her body even had time to go through the different stages of rigger. Morbid, I know but I watch a lot of CSI so give me a break. Be thankful I’m not taking the time to use all the upper-case number symbols people like to use instead of cussing.

Ever since her death, even though I have had the same phone number since we moved here, when was the last time anyone in this family has tried to get in touch with me? And I’m not talking about all the little funny emails that go back and forth. Do you realize that the ONLY reason I have ANY of your email addresses is because I copied them off of those generic emails sent to everyone. That’s how I discovered that one brother had a new email. No one bothered to tell me. Yeah, I know, phone calls can be expensive and frankly my phone sucks so bad now I don’t bother to turn it on most of the time, but emails are easy and free. I may not even buy another calling card since apparently I have very little reason to have one.

My son was stationed in Kansas for a few months. I call my sister and have her spread the word that he’s in the area “Here’s the phone number. Call him. Make him feel welcome.” I mistakenly assumed that the family would be thrilled that he was anywhere within reach, but does anyone call or visit? Not on your life, you couldn’t be bothered. You haven’t seen the kid since he was about 12, and you couldn’t even send him an email thanking him for serving his country; how cold is that?

I hear a rumor, through MySpace no less, that my niece and her family is moving to Phoenix. There’s even a far fainter rumor that there’s a baby on the way somewhere. Hell, the kid is probably in school by now for all I know, not to mention whose kid it is. You all pop each other emails often enough, is it so much to ask for a personal note pointed in my direction now and then? I don’t care what it is, how dumb and ordinary it is, but I would love to read about it all and do the same in return. The only personal email I got wasn’t even sent TO ME. It was sent to my daughter-in-law, Ccd to me; how personal is that?

I try to sprinkle the dorky stuff through my books, blithely thinking that my family is the model family, we’re so close and so supportive of each other – well maybe, if you don’t count me in the mix. You know, I actually expected that you all would run out and buy one of my books, just so you could tell your friends that “My sister wrote a book, see here it is” or “My aunt is an author, see.” None of you have bought a single copy, have you? Tell me I’m wrong and I’ll apologize. It didn’t matter to me if you never read a single word of it. I know it wasn’t mom’s cup of tea, but at least she read it. And I know it wasn’t my sister’s thing either, she couldn’t make it through to the end. That’s fine; there is no way in creation a single type of book can please everyone, but still. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve managed to work myself into a bit of a temper. It shows itself once in a while. That too comes out in my books upon occasion; would you even notice?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can tell me you’re all busy. Well, I am too, but I’m never too busy for family or friends. You know, the only person left that I call ON THE PHONE about once a month, is a friend – the one and only friend I’ve ever had since junior high school, and the only reason I call her once a month or so is because she calls me once a month or so.

After one Christmas of trying to catch everyone at my sister’s house so I could catch a chat with everyone, an effort that failed, by the way, I decided to try an experiment. What would happen if I didn’t call ANYONE at Christmas? NOT A DAMN THING. For all you care, I could have fallen and broken my neck, and because I live in the 10th century and I couldn’t afford to pay a runner to make the 100-mile trek to the closest phone and call someone, no one knew. Now I’m a paraplegic and living in a rest home, my husband shot himself in the head and my kids are living on welfare. Will any of you read this close enough to know if it’s the truth or not?

Before I get too much more pissed, I’ll finish this with this one time warning. Much more of this cold-shoulder and I’ll loose your addresses and your phone numbers and screw you all. I’ve happily clawed my way in life out here for the last 20 years; I’ll, by damn, claw my way into my own ranch house by myself before I die and without any help from any of you.

Sorry, I do get mad like this once in a while. None of my family will ever read this. All I’m saying is, take a moment and touch a family member once in a while.

Published in: on April 14, 2014 at 8:14 PM  Comments (2)