All in the family

Summer is typically a time for informal get togethers of all sorts. Whether you are headed to the beach, or your favorite trailhead, it’s a time to come out from hibernation and get a little fresh air. Some will see the shining orb and, much like the groundhog in February, scurry into a movie theatre or somewhere else familiar for recreation. Everyone has a different approach for their summer vacation or staycation plan.

Some go to family reunions. Possibly this is you, and it’s a great tradition in your family circle to do this periodically. In my family, there is not one time in recent memory where I can say I have been to or been invited to a family reunion. In fact, I would be quite surprised to hear that anyone remotely related to me even has them.

As a small child, I can remember hearing the adults in my world talk about the other adults in the family in derogatory and disparaging ways. But if that person came over, the fake smile would be pulled out like a turkey baster out of the kitchen drawer that was seldom used. Some time would be spent sitting on the living room sofa exchanging surface pleasantries or gossip about other family members, until one person hit on a “touchy subject” and the conversation would become strained or end altogether. and the visitor would mention having to be somewhere (anywhere) else and leave.

My grandmother or mother would then sit in their easy chair and look like they just ran a marathon. Social engagement of any sort that was the least bit challenging became quickly draining and unpleasant. Usually eating or pills followed, along with some alone time. It’s no wonder we did not really get together with anyone else in our family very often; it was modeled to me that people in general are hard to get along with, family even more so. So, it was best, in their eyes, to keep contact at a bare minimum. Consequently, I can no longer remember the names of my cousins, because we did not keep in touch as adults.

I really wish I could throw a family reunion and see who shows up. But another part of me worries if they will only remember the negativity (there was a lot) and dysfunction (there was no fun in that dysfunction, let me tell ya). As it is, my recovery tells me the past is past, and to let it be. So, I submit it to God, and allow him to possibly bring the people back into my life that need to be there. I am very thankful for my kids and grandkids. They are enough of a “reunion” for me at this point.

One thing is certain; I can’t change what happened. I can choose how to behave now, and how to respond to what happens next. Very grateful for my recovery tonight.

Much love and big hugs to my recovery family!

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