When your family is no longer yours

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It all went down the drain long before I was a thought in the universe. Bonds that were supposed to be unbreakable proved weaker than a piece of string, love that was meant to be unconditional dissipated in the face of disagreements, of long standing grudges buried in shallow dirt.

The cracks in the foundation of what was once a family soon became too wide to bridge the gap.

A person who grows up without the quintessential grandparents hovering in the background, the henpecking aunts and tired uncles, the fun-loving, more-like-siblings cousins around, feels the empty space.

The space exists on birthdays, at Christmas time, during graduation ceremonies. While there is much to be occupied with your immediate family, you may always wonder, “what if?”

What if people managed to successfully move on from the past, were able to see through the obvious flaws of someone’s facade, and allowed themselves to be vulnerable to the possibility of being loved? What if they could look that person in the eye, and say, “I love you no matter what, always” and simply forgive?

Troubles of the past could be reconciled, misgivings forgotten. The sharp presence of judgment in the room would be softened, with understanding and empathy in its place.

We are all imperfect; we recognize that we are not our mistakes. We are not defined by the choices we have made, only by our character, our ability to feel things as a human being and how we treat those around us.

How we handle our errors and move forward shines through the wall that we put up to shield ourselves from heartache.

 

Email:mkiyota@radford.edu