I grew up with a mother, father and brother, though there was never really a familial connection.
I bore three children, one that was taken from me at age 3.
I have aunts, uncles, and cousins I’ve never met and the ones I did faded into obscurity when I was a child.
I never had grandparents. My father’s father died when he was a child, my father’s mother died an alcoholic in a flop house. My mother’s father died when she was a child and my mother’s mother despised me.
I’ve had two husbands with family, but have only kept in touch with husband number two’s mother.
I raised two children as a single mother and felt guilt every day because their life followed in much the same path as mine. I often wondered if I should have stayed in my marriage despite the violence.
I have reconnected with the child I didn’t raise and learned things that make my heart hurt, but she is strong, beautiful and so wonderful. Despite her journey she is filled with love and always smiling. It’s in the genes.
I have reconnected with a mother that revealed so many things helping me to put into perspective my childhood and young adulthood. We both carry the scars of the cyclical terror of abuse. I never knew.
I have released the anger and pain associated with a father that spoke with a fist and lived a secret life as a pedophile. I am at peace with the knowledge that none of it was my fault and I can now lay it to rest.
I have lived a life feeling abandoned, like an orphan child not wanted or loved.
I have learned there is no greater bond than that of family, and that is not always defined by blood.
I shared the reality of 4 generations in one place at the same time, and I was part of that foundation of family.
I have learned that life gives you what you need when you most need it. I needed my family.
I have come full circle after a year of rebirth.