Archive for the ‘Family Forest’ Category

I mentioned in my last post the forest that is my family. Unfortunately, some of the people in that forest will most likely not be in attendance on our wedding day.

One of the big ones that I have on my list of a hopeful is my mom. I lived with my mom most of my life, all throughout schooling and during most summers when I was in college. She always tried to help me in any way that she could, she spent a lot of time with me while I was growing up and encouraged anything I wanted to do or be. Throughout her whole life though, she has been battling some mental demons and they like to rear their ugly head from time to time. She has an especially hard time around holidays and big events, plus she doesn’t do well in social settings with people she doesn’t know. I would love to have her at my wedding and have her enjoy herself, have a good time. But, if I’m being real, she missed my high school talent shows, barely made it to my high school graduation, never once visited my college campus, not even for my graduation. As much as I would enjoy having her there, the closer I get to the wedding, the less likely I feel she will be there.

madreA throwback picture of my mom and me. // Personal Photo

Another missing piece to the party will most likely be Beauty, Germany’s daughter. I’m not here to air anyone’s dirty laundry but Beauty has been progressively removed her from our family over the years. For a while, I was able to have contact with my niece and I loved watching her grow and spending time with her. When Mr. K and I got engaged, I tried to talk to Beauty’s mom, hoping that things would turn around and Beauty could be a part of my big day. Unfortunately, things have gone in the other direction since then and I can’t even talk to Beauty anymore.  Beauty is smart though, she knows she has an entire family that loves her. She also knows that I’m getting married and would love nothing more than having her there.

I know for sure that half of my grandparents and half of Mr. PB’s grandparents will RSVP from above. While we were both fortunate to have time with our grandparents that have passed, I didn’t get to meet either of Mr. PB’s grandfathers and Mr. PB was only able to meet one of my five deceased grandparents. It’s difficult to think that seven people we loved won’t be with us the day we celebrate our love but we will carry them in our hearts. We will also find a few ways to honor them.

gmaEgpaDMy Gma E and Gpa D on their wedding day. // Personal Photo

We also have a few people on both sides of our family that are no longer in touch with the rest of the family. Riffs, silly arguments, big blowouts… whatever it may have been, there are members of both of our families that haven’t been in touch with the others for some time and obviously will be on our no show list.

Geeze Louise, this post was a bit rough to write. It’s definitely hard to think about those who will not be there in March but I know that they wouldn’t want thoughts of them to bring about sadness. If Gma E saw me getting all sappy and dwelling on the negative, she would tell me to “Go lay down” – her way of telling me I was being crazy and ridiculous. I’m going to choose to do nothing but feel the love of those who aren’t with us on our wedding day.

Do you have family that you are going to be missing when you say I do, either deceased, disconnected or otherwise absent? How are you going to honor them the day of you wedding?

The Brady Bunch gave America a glimpse into a blended family when it began airing in 1969. Now in 2014, step parents, half siblings and blended families are quite frequent. It’s not abnormal for children to share only one parent and have siblings double their age. It’s not uncommon for marriages to become divorces and then new marriages. I’m not here to judge any of the above situations but they do make family trees quite complicated.

You see, my family tree cannot be easily confined to a single tree. No, my family, well, we need a whole forest.

Many trees, blended colors. This might be close to my family forest. // Source: Etsy

Now, before I get started trying to paint my own family forest for you, I want to make myself perfectly clear: I don’t believe family is  about blood or DNA or branches on a tree. Family is defined by those who have made life-long impressions on you, those who you celebrate, commiserate and emotionally connect with and those who you couldn’t imagine not in your life, who have impacted you beyond words. *steps off soapbox*

I have three siblings – an older brother (Germany), a younger brother (Tubesocks) and a younger sister (Moo). I also am the oldest, youngest, middle and only child. Perplexed? I am the oldest of my dad’s kids (me, Tubesocks and Moo), the youngest of my mom’s kids (Germany and me), the only child between my mom and dad but the middle child overall.

Let’s take it one step further, Germany has a daughter, Beauty, who is one month older than Tubesocks. I used to babysit Beauty, Tubesocks and Moo during the summer. One day, I overheard a conversation between Beauty and Tubesocks, they couldn’t have been more than 9 at the time. They were trying to figure out how they were related to each other, if Beauty was Tubesocks’s aunt or if they were cousins. I just told them it was complicated because I don’t really know the answer to that one. I’m Beauty’s aunt and Tubesocks’s sister but Beauty’s dad isn’t Tubesocks’s brother (or half brother or step brother, for that matter). My head hurts.

I also have called 10 people grandma or grandpa in my life including a great grandma who is over a century old (yay for good genetics!). So, if we’re getting technical, I obviously can only have four genetic grandparents – a mother and father to my mother and a mother and father to my father. But my step mom has her parents, which makes two more grandparents. But they divorced when she was young and then remarried, so that’s two more grandparents. Plus, Gma R, my step mom’s step dad’s mom, is still going strong.

We haven’t even touched on aunts, uncles, cousins or children of cousins (or first cousins once removed according to Wikipedia; they’re considered nieces and nephews in my family.)

And then Mr. PB’s family. His family doesn’t involve as many steps as my does; his mom’s side is actually pretty simple to understand. His dad’s side gets a bit confusing, though, because his Gma M has been a long-time foster parent and even adopted some of her foster children. So Mr. PB has aunts and uncles that are by blood, by adoption or by association after growing up with Gma M as their mom, adoptive mom or foster mom.

Family can be complicated and crazy and a million other things. But I cannot wait for the opportunity for Mr. PB and me to celebrate with our families, our loved ones on our wedding day.

Is your family complicated as well? Are you in the same boat as me with steps and halves and lots more people to love you?