I stumbled across my "Aunt" on facebook the other day. I use the quotation marks because, although blood ties our families together, her Husband, my Mum's "Brother" (there's those quote marks again!), decided one day around 15 years ago that he wanted nothing at all to do with us. To this day nobody knows why. I'm not even sure they do! The birthday cards stopped, vile sentiments were sent our way and if by chance we did bump into each other at my Grandparents house we would be ignored or they would leave.
It tore a rift in our family. My Brother and I should have grown up with 4 younger cousins, the youngest the same age as my two children! I often wonder if they would have been good friends, if we all would have been, had family circumstances been different.
Neither my Brother nor I were ever close to my Mum's family because of it. Her Parents were never the kind of people you could talk to about anything either; we went round as young children and were expected to sit quietly in the other room while the adults talked so I never had much of a bond with them. Except my Grampy...
|My Grampy and I.|
He was the only one from that side of the family that I had any kind of closeness with. He used to be great fun when we were children, often chasing my Brother and I around their house and playing lots of board games on rainy afternoons. He would make us egg and soldiers when he came over to look after us while my Mum and Dad were working.
My Brother and I used to rush around his wonderful garden in the summer; in and out of the rose bushes and shrubs, down the path past beautifully maintained borders littered with butterflies, past his vegetable patch where he would be working hard, through the greenhouse and into our little 'hide-out' at the bottom of the garden next to the fields. I have such fond memories of time spent there, it was so much fun!
|In my Grampy's garden with my Mum.|
My Grampy, my only real connection with my Mum's family (other than my Mum of course!!), died in January 2009 and my bond with the family went with it. I've tried to form a relationship with my Granny since then and it's been a lot of giving and no reciprocation so eventually called it a day when she couldn't be bothered to attend our Wedding.
I wish things had been different. I've been considering extending the olive branch again, sending my "Aunt" a message and seeing where it goes. Maybe they wish things had been different too? Or maybe I'll get ignored or told to leave them alone (pretty sure it'll be this one)? Whatever happens, I'll still have those wonderful memories of summer's spent in my Grampy's garden.
|Me, enjoying my Grampy's garden.|