Seven-year-old hole

I’ve been sitting staring at the blank white box with a blinking black cursor for a little bit now trying to figure out how to start this. I know what I want to say, I know the lesson I want to teach, but to get to that lesson is a little difficult…

I’ve mentioned my nieces and nephews a couple of times before. The growing size of my family is something many marvel at when my mother proudly mentions Kinley is her fourteenth grand baby and my sister is carrying number fifteen. Yes, fifteen. One of my nephews is not my biological nephew, but he is a part of our family none-the-less and he isn’t treated any different than the rest of them. One of my nieces is not a part of our lives, and this fact makes me sad everyday.

It’s not by choice we don’t have a relationship with her, we can’t have a relationship with her. It’s difficult to explain this, or maybe it’s not and I just think it is.

When I was 17, my brother got married to his second wife. He had 3 children with his first and 1 with his second. The whole wedding was just a series of bad omens. Ask anybody in my family, and they will tell you that it was just all around a wedding from hell. If something could possibly go wrong, it did.

When he divorced that wife, my niece, Samantha, was a year old. And my family? Never saw her again. We can’t see her. We can’t trust her mother. And because of this fact? My niece thinks we don’t love her, which is not the case at all. Every holiday Samantha doesn’t join us there is a, now, 7-year-old sized hole among us. Many grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, many cousins laughing and playing. But always one missing.

So imagine my shock when I received a Facebook message from the mother of Samantha, curious to know if we want pictures. She decided to inform me that Samantha often wonders why her father doesn’t love her and that she (the mother) feels that it’s best to just forget everything and basically pretend the other doesn’t exist.

That, I cannot do. I cannot sit here and pretend there isn’t somebody with my blood running through them, even if she is just my niece. And the fact that makes me even more bitter and angry? She chose me to hear her sob story. She chose me to attempt a manipulation tactic. I’m wiser than that, however. And as much as it pains me to have to know I won’t see Samantha again until she is 18, if ever, that’s life.

I do not choose to not have a relationship with her, but I do choose to think of her often and wonder what she wants for Christmas or her birthday. I do choose to feel the empty spot in our family at our gatherings when the other children are playing. We don’t speak of it really, but I know we all miss her.

To me, the only thing greater than being an aunt is being a mother. I love my nieces and nephews with a fierce love and they know that. I don’t ever think any of them would ever question if they could come to me if they needed help. They know, no matter the situation, I would be there doing whatever I could. They’re not my children, but my blood still runs through them. That’s why I don’t understand someone would choose to not have a relationship with a child in their family. And by “choose”, I don’t mean having to do so for the best interest in the child or for safety reasons as my brother has had to do. But I mean, choosing because they are just not interested in them. Because they are bitter and angry at the parents. Because they are assholes. You don’t have to have a wonderful relationship with the parents to have any relationship with the offspring, you just have to want to have that relationship.

But, hey, that’s your choice to ignore a little one with part of you flowing through them. I’m not here to judge, everyone is entitled to do what they wish. Before you know it tho, that little one-year-old niece of yours that you just didn’t spend enough time with when you had the chance? She’s going to turn into a seven-year-old hole before you know it.


8 Responses

  1. I thought about this all last night and since I have been in she who shall not be mentioned’s position, I just don’t know if I could live with myself if I did not try to get pictures, try to have some sort of relationship. My own daughter’s father was out of her life (as you well know) and his family also participated in that absence. They missed out on so many wonderful moments with her, watching her grow from a baby to a preteen.

    He has since told me the same thing, I couldn’t be trusted (you know that is a lie) that he COULDN’T have a relationship with Madi because of ME, his family couldn’t have a relationship because of ME. Its a lie but in the end it was their loss.

    I don’t want to be those people. I think we should try. Its the right thing to do.

    • Mom told Chris and he said to send her a message back saying “fuck you” and blah blah blah. I just want to know what she’s like, to see pictures and to maybe even write her a letter.

      I hate knowing she is being told we don’t love her when that’s hardly the case.

  2. The thing is we have to protect everyone including siblings and it is not a good thing to start a relationship with the mother to get to know the niece or for me grandchild because we actually put everyone at risk. We know the mom and it’s not the same situation Madi was in we witnessed the lies and the craziness. Not a good idea to wait till she can come to us and then when we tell our story hopefully she will forgive us and understand.

  3. I meant not a good idea to start something now, just wait for her to come to us.

  4. Chris S. or Chris B. said that? I have very strong opinions about this situation. The fact is she WON’T understand, its impossible. There is no one to protect, I really do not think that her mother is that insane that she would pull anything that crazy. I have to deal with a legitimately crazy person every other weekend who WOULD pull that kind of stuff but I HAVE to do it. Like it or not we are choosing not to have a relationship with a little girl based on a very bad situation between her parents. Its not right.

    • Chris B. I haven’t responded to the email yet, trying to articulate what I want to say. The selfishness of both of them is irritating to me. I’m just now being offered the opportunity to have a decision in what sort of relationship I will have will her, and I desperately want one. You have no idea how much my heart broke when she was supposed to come and then didn’t.

  5. I would respond how you feel it is appropriate. However much I love our brother it is not appropriate for us to have/not have relationships with children in our family because he deems it inappropriate. He can choose to not have a relationship with her but it doesn’t mean we should not be afforded the opportunity to. Having a relationship with our niece does not mean having a relationship with her mother. For the sake of children it is always best to let bygones be bygones.

  6. You know what the right thing to do is. Do it. The only person who will not understand is Chris and so be it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: