Diving right in…So I already mentioned my own difficult issues surrounding death, I don’t deal with it well.
I also mentioned that I lost someone who was very close to me and a huge part of my life. Well there was another death situation that was particularly challenging that happened during all of this, during this time period that I’m writing about.
I have three cousins and one of them was brutally murdered. He wasn’t doing anything wrong he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was stabbed to death by very bad people who were worried that he could identify them if the police came around. To say this was a shock is an understatement, it was REALLY tough.
This is all during the time that I am connecting online with the LDS blog person, before I found out that she knew one of my relatives.
So there was this other earth shifting death experience in my life and it is impossible for these things to happen and not effect the family, the children.
We have a blended family which is a whole subject that I’ll write about some other time. I imagine being a child in a blended family can be challenging at times, I’ve only been the parent my own family wasn’t a blended one. It is what it is though and its all they have, it is a good thing, that almost sounds like I’m saying it isn’t which I’m not. It just is, and I love it, I love them, I love my family,
Anyway, all of this brought up all sorts of questions about family and cousins and on and on. They were good questions, having a kid ask why they never see their cousins or why they don’t even know any of them is a good question. It caused us to take a look at this picture I can say that.
There really wasn’t a real good answer. It was pointed out how they have cousins their same age, even same gender, one of our daughters has two cousins that are her same age and also girls. Yet they don’t communicate, don’t know each other, yeah they are basically strangers.
So what do you do about this? What can you do about this? Is it even possible to make a change and make things better? Also, is it the parents responsibility to at least make some effort?
Yes to that last question, at least that was our position.
The birthday card project was fun at first, the kids and I picked out the cards, they all wrote on them. It was fun and it seemed like it helped them feel more connected to family that is far away.
You have to keep in mind that we had just lost two people, one who was a huge presence, the other was more on the periphery but still important and the brutality involved was just horrific. ALL of this has an effect on the entire family there isn’t any other way around that.
And really these are their relations, this IS their family. There will come a day when the parents are all gone and they are still here and why shouldn’t they at least know their cousins and family members? Even if it is just a little that is much better than nothing. In my view some effort is better than no effort.
So we reached out, honestly when do you start something like that? What better time than the present?
Then I got an e mail from a random non relative who I have no clue how they even knew anything about this. Well in the e mail a certain relative was referenced and I was advised not to send her children any more birthday cards!
Yeah it was bizarre. I thought about it and figured that something must have happened to cause this individual to send this e mail, I couldn’t imagine what but it had to have been something. So ok no more cards.
The message didn’t seem malicious or rude, it seemed almost like someone saying something to the effect of I know your trying here and this is what is happening behind your back, it seemed like they were trying to help and do something good. It is entirely possible that I interpreted that the wrong way, I never replied nor have I ever communicated about this.
Then I was shown yet another e mail, this one wasn’t directly sent to me it was forwarded by who it was sent to where the relative was making false claims about the cards. Lies about birthday cards even, and they were lies, what I was being accused of just wasn’t true.
So our effort to reach out, to make some effort was futile.
It wasn’t futile with all the other family members though so that is positive. I decided to just approach everyone the same way that I approach my other relatives.
If my Sister’s daughter has an important life event then I’d send a gift, so if my Husband’s Brother’s son for example has something significant happen we will do the same.
It might sound silly, it might not sound like much but it is making some effort to reach out and it means a lot to our kids. Its a way for them to feel connected, and I am more than happy to be the one who makes that effort.
Not even just the kids, it matters and means something to us otherwise we wouldn’t do it.
I never could have imagined that birthday cards could have gone in a weird direction like they did with the one relative but it would seem that it doesn’t matter what it is, what it relates to with this particular individual its always weird, I don’t understand it and probably never will.
This has been therapeutic. I’m still not quite done deconstructing this, I will be happy when I am done so it can be done forever. Haven’t quite reached the deepest of the deep end but it will happen eventually.