Tuesday, December 2, 2014

to my brother

 Dear Brother,

About a year ago, you made some nasty comments about me on Facebook. I hadn't talked to you for months and you ignored me the last time I made the 750 mile trek to the Homeland. So I sent you a private message and offered the solution of talking over the phone about why you are so angry with me instead of you acting out in public in front of all our mutual friends and other family members.

You declined talking to me and said you didn't want anything to do with me. You claimed I was a "selfish bitch" and that I "abandoned" (your word, not mine) my children when I moved across state lines to be with my (now) fiance.

Here are the facts:
1. I moved 45 minutes away from my children.
2. I lived with their father for 2 years while we were separated because we didn't have any other choice financially. When we had the opportunity to finally go our own ways, we BOTH jumped on it. It was a carefully discussed, mutual decision.
3. My children wanted to stay in the town where their schools are rather than start over at new schools. I honored that.
4. I send their father money every month and managed to do so even when I was unemployed.
5. I see them once a week for the evening and they spend every other weekend at my house. They spend most breaks (Christmas, Spring Break, Summer Break etc) with me as well.

I'm not sure how that classifies as abandonment, but whatever. The point is, you feel very strongly that I am a horrible mother and asked that I never contact you again.

Now nearly a year has gone by and I've heard several reports that you are very sick. Your diabetes is out of control and you have never been the best patient. From what I understand, you may not have much longer to live.

I could argue that if you die because you choose not to take care of yourself, then you are essentially abandoning your daughter in the most literal and final of ways. But I'm not going to do that. The last thing I said to you is that you will always be my brother and I will always love you.

And that is the message I want to send out now. It's not too late to salvage our relationship. Although I was very hurt by your accusations, I was even more hurt that you didn't want me to be part of your life anymore.

I look at this picture, circa 1978, from time to time:

And I think about how happy and innocent we look. It breaks my heart to think that I will likely never see you again and that you will die hating me. I don't understand why families have to be so hateful to each other and know exactly how to inflict the most pain. I don't understand why we can't have this pure, simple bond like what I see in that picture.

So I'm putting this out there, my dear brother, in written word, because that's what I do. I'm not doing it to clear my conscience because I have not done anything wrong. I'm extending the proverbial olive branch, telling you that I still love you and forgiving you for saying those hurtful things to me. It's not too late for us to come to an understanding. We don't have to be friends, but it would be nice if we could at least show our children what acceptance, forgiveness and love are. And those are three things every family should embrace.

Love always,
Your Sister

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