May 13, 2013

if i say it enough i might believe it


“She’s got nobody else,” Taye said to me. “We’re all she has now.”

 “Yeah, I know.”
 
yeah ... no.
 

Melinda* is seven years older than me. I was the last one born and Marco is between us. Melinda was never fond of kids. She was sure to tell me this every chance she had: “You’re the reason I don’t like kids.”

It’s not entirely her fault she felt this way. I probably would too if I were forced to constantly babysit my younger siblings; Mama and Papa just put too much responsibility onto her. I get that now.

We were never close.

Never.

I tried so many times. And then I just gave up. Wasn’t that long ago when I gave up either, but I did. I kind of stopped caring. Then she got divorced for a second time, and now she lives alone and her drunk of a daughter won’t allow Melinda to see her grandbaby. I know it hurts her. I know she’s human despite not acting like one for so many years. I know it’s all a façade—her strength. I know, deep down, she’s still a little girl in many ways.

But it’s so hard for me to care.

 

I hosted a baby shower for my BFF/cousin last weekend. Melinda showed up an hour late. She stayed well into the evening despite everyone else leaving hours before her. It was very odd to have her sit there in my home without any other family there besides Taye and Lovie. It was even more odd to watch Lovie latch on to Melinda…something I’ve yearned for Lovie for so long—a real relationship with her aunt. When she finally left (when it was time to get Lovie into bed) I made mention to Taye how weird it was for me to have Melinda there so long after the shower had ended.

“She probably has nothing else to do.”
 
“Oh I know, but it’s still weird.”

 

Yesterday Melinda showed up to Lovie’s dance recital after claiming she wouldn’t make it. She showed up, she gave Lovie hugs and kisses after her recital, and then when Lovie saw the flowers in Melinda’s car (intended for our mom for Mother’s Day) and excitedly thought they were for her, Melinda gave the flowers to the tiny dancer with a chuckle and a smile.

We all went to lunch afterward to celebrate Mother’s Day and Lovie’s first dance show. It was a really lovely day. At one point Melinda was walking back to the table and Lovie ran up to her and hugged her legs. I smiled. Melinda held Lovie’s head to her to bring her in closer. Melinda smiled, too.

It was weird though...She’s all alone. She has two adult children, one 13-year-old, and a granddaughter. None of whom she saw yesterday. On Mother’s Day.

How sad is that?

And yet, it’s hard for me to care too much.

A part of me hopes that this is the thing that will bring us closer, but I just don’t know.

And.

I just don’t care.





*Melinda is not her real name




 

20 comments:

  1. Brave writing here. It's clear you have your reasons and you don't owe anyone an explanation about how you got there. I love how you love Lovie and you ask the questions that are hanging in the air. There is some reason that some people end up alone.

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    1. "There is some reason that some people end up alone." Poop that saddens me though. You know? Argh.

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  2. Maybe there is hope for a healthy relationship between Lovie and your sister, but I can understand why you would choose not to be the hopeful one.

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    1. Lovie has become smitten with her, that's for sure.

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  3. Wow, awesome post. I have some of this with my baby sister so I can relate a little. We me I'm the one who's alone a lot of the time, but it's just hard for me to talk to people. Hugs and good thoughts for you!

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    1. oh thanks for reading and commenting Patti. funny thing is that I'M very much the loner of the family... it's odd.

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  4. I can certainly understand the ambivalence you feel toward your sister. My sister's 18 years older than me and she wasn't around for a lot of my childhood because of issues between her and my father and I was too young to understand why she stopped speaking to us for 8 years. Fast forward ten years and she sees our father quite frequently and tries to reach out to me, but I have a hard time trusting her or even seeing much reason why I should let her into my life at this point.

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    1. family can be tough to read sometimes.

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  5. I get it. Sometimes even the things you kind of feel you should want, you've been too beaten down to care. im sad.

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    1. :( yes. YES. but. then again. I don't really think i'd put this much thought into it all if I REALLY didn't care. I don't know.

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  6. I hope this works out however is best. It was a tough piece to write Im sure.

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  7. Oh, man... It sounds like it would be so much easier if Lovie wasn't so attached. I hope that things work out in a way that everyone is OK with.

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  8. Maybe Lovie sees something that nobody else can. Not everyone shows their love in the same way. Does it really matter? Just see where Lovie takes you!

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    1. winner winner, chicken dinner! :) thanks, TMW H.

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  9. This is a great post. Very honest and real. I can totally understand seeing the good in what Melinda has been doing but taking it from where it comes and being guarded.

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  10. I completely get it; about not caring. I appreciate your candor and I thank you for it at a time when I'm struggling with the fact that I just don't care anymore about my family of origin or the details of their lives. I feel horrible for having those thoughts. But like you, I've tried and tried and I finally just gave up. It's good that Melinda is still a part of your life somehow and that her relationship with Lovie is a good one. But I understand the feeling of keeping it at arm's length.

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  11. Some people never change, but some do.

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  12. Everybody has relatives like that - or at least, I do. It's hard to care. I want to care, but somehow...just...can't.

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