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Archive for May, 2010

Family Fragments

Special Moments

I come from a big unruly blended family, although at the time it was formed, there was no name for it: 1954. My father died 2 years earlier, leaving me and my brother Herb with my mother. Honestly, I missed my daddy terribly and wouldn’t have wanted my mother to remarry anyone. But her choice of a second husband had deep consequences for me, though apparently not for Herb. He inherited 3 new brothers with a 4th on the way a year later. He had his own baseball, basketball, and football team; I had a sense of desolation and hopelessness I still deal with.

Let’s flash forward to this past weekend–that 4th brother brought my total to 5–one whole, 3 step, and this last one considered a half-brother. My baby brother Joe. 

Naturally as a big sister 13 years older, we were very close siblings for life. About 17 years ago, he had twins, a boy Evan and girl Meriellyn. I used to see them about 3-4 times a year, since we lived in different parts of the country. Meriellyn and I have always had a wonderfully close relationship with a deep love and trust of one another.

Due to a fairly disruptive visit to my home in Houston 5 years ago, and an ensuring break from that branch of the family, Meriellyn and I had little contact for the longest time in our lives. But this weekend ended that period of enforced separation: we met again as a family at a nephew’s graduation (Herb’s younger son) from University of Delaware, where he received his doctorate in chemical engineering. It was a great occasion for all of us; but especially for Meriellyn and me to be able to see one another after such a long hiatus, and to renew our loving aunt/niece relationship. We went out for a mani-pedi expedition after the graduation ceremony on Saturday. What a blast we had. She plans to come visit again this summer. Alone this time–without the stress of two whole families trying to coordinate a week long summer vacation.

I am so thankful this fragmented disruption is healing now. A gift! Perhaps this will mark the beginning of my being able to write about my childhood and that family from which she descends. Perhaps someday I’ll heal from my mother’s disruptive decision to remarry all those years ago.

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Fragments

Beauty Unpredictable

Beauty Unpredictable

I realized today that the title for my blog had to be Fragments. I have always lived a fragmented life and today I realized it’s just part of my nature. I’ve been fragmented during sad and hard times and remain fragmented now, during the happiest period of my life. All it means is that I have multiple interests and commitments and I juggle them. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but so what. I get overwhelmed. I get settled down. I love the Octavio Paz quote: “I am not finished with myself yet,” because I’m not. I discovered it at least 20 years ago, and it still applies. I will never be finished with myself, my works, my love for people and life. Today I own the fragments I have identified so far. Let there be more: bring them on!

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Fragments

The Color Purple

“I am not finished with myself yet.” — Octavio Paz, “Fragments” Eagle or Sun

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