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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Life May Surprise You.


A little over a month ago, I received an email that was unlike the others that litter my inbox. The subject? "You are so talented." The sender? My aunt.
To anyone else, this may just sound like an ordinary email: your favorite but distant aunt sending you an email full of praise. But this one was different for me, because that's something I'm not accustomed to. I'll let you see why. It truly surprised me and changed me, and I'm posting it here because I know that I'm not the only one in a situation such as this. I know that I learned so much from it, and maybe someone else will too.

Jessi,

I found your blog this week after reading your article online from the chronicle. You are such a talented writer, and I admire your ability to express your feelings. As you know that trait isn't a strong one in our family.

I just read your poem to the grandmother you never had, and it breaks my heart. Not that it should make you feel any better, but she is missing out on all her grandchildren, including my daughter. Just because she speaks to your other aunt and me doesn't mean she is involved really in our lives. She makes no effort to email, call, or ask about me, my life, or child. She calls to talk about her problems, and the help she needs.

I now totally understand why your dad stopped speaking to her. It took me to have a child to know that you will protect them from anything, and severing ties with those who aren't loving is one step you will take.

I don't know how the whole family seemed to have fallen apart. I moved far away because dealing with the family weighs too heavily on me. I have been working on out of sight, out of mind for 16 years now.

That being said, I don't want my daughter to miss out on having a family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, they were so important to me growing up.

I hope you will accept my apology for being an absent aunt and maybe we could work on getting to know each other. I would like to do this with your family, but one step at a time, and if possible given that each person has to decide that on their own.

Whatever comes our way, know that you will go far, and maybe even leave that corn town, but it will never leave you - it still has a place in me.


photo via (we heart it)

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Open and honest communication is a blessing most people/families do not enjoy. But look at what can happen if someone steps out on that branch, as thin and shaky as it may feel - something to be treasured may just come from the risk of talking, listening and trying to understand the perspectives of those we love. Congtat's to you and your aunt!!!

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