I used to write, all the time.
Poems, journals, songs.
It used to ease my troubled mind.
Ease wounds of the past that spiraled out of control
with each family members passing, the spiral winding.
Pieces of a broken child,
frightened life never reconciled,
and a mother that never had the help she required
or the forgiveness from me that she probably desired.
Secrets that family spoke of in hushed tones,
and some denied out of very existence
in their world of truthful resistance.
I ran away
But not from family
Not from my sister or brother.
Not even from her, our mother
I ran away so someone would run after the broken child who’s wounds wouldn’t heal.
Who’s scars ripped and bled all over easily when that pain was revealed.
Growing up feeling unwanted,
with the screams of yesterdays echoing in my head,
and injuries inflicted hidden from public misled.
I ran because I wanted someone to care that I ran.
A few did, and the others made me out to be evil incarnate
for “leaving” family behind like I had a masterful plan.
Little did you know how little I knew
of what family really was supposed to do.
That hugs didn’t have to hurt.
And words weren’t supposed to belittle and bruise.
It was much later I realized family was a word I misused.
And then it became easy to run.
Others opened arms to be a family to the child with broken dreams.
Most them having been broken and also undone.
Searching for family to heal their wounds too.
As years passed it became harder to try to come home to all of you.
Everyone was family but yet strangers to me.
Little did you know that I’d have a hard time talking to you.
Painfully shy and lost for words, I swear it’s true.
I always hoped you’d fill in the void and seek me out and make me stay,
make hear what you had to say.
We were all broken in all our own little ways
and we all tried to pick our pieces up and mend our souls
to move forward forging our own paths but still un-whole.
What I’ve learned is that we have all grieved not having each other.
Or grieved the family torn apart.
I grieved in my own way missing my sister, my brother.
You in yours, and her in hers
we tried our best to live in some way.
Our parents passed from this life with their own wounds
still wide open and bleeding upon us.
Leaving us to heal and stitch and break wide open.
Time and time again always in motion.
From dust to dust
Now you both have left me,
brother years ago and sister you today.
And the floodgates have opened yet again with rivers of tears I hide away.
Because only we knew, only we were there.
All the years we let be lost to each other.
Of pride or ego or was it something more altogether?
Did we see the reflections of the past when we looked in each others eyes?
Even now the tears well up deep inside.
My brother, we took those wounds and bled all over what we touched.
A chosen few wiped the blood we spilled and stayed.
Giving only love, despite what we shed and let lay.
They healed our wounds and showed us what love was.
Many thought you were the fortunate son.
Because you were the strong of the three.
You ran but revisited often.
Healing what you could and leaving the rest be.
Then retreat back to your home when needed.
I wish more of you had rubbed off on me.
I just ran and ran never knowing how or what to be.
Our sister, she stayed behind wishing the same as I
That someone would call,
would visit, or notice us at all.
She and I never knew how to move on..
Sister, I ache for you, and your loving heart.
You never ran, instead you hid and stayed
but to the rest of the family you never really felt a part.
Your love for your children and their own knew no bounds.
It is there where your broken heart lived,
where you prayed for family healing to be found.
A generation of sadness, tears a common sound.
In the end your life was lived for them,
The children you bore,
the grandma you had become
Not for yourself, but to help them overcome.
My heart is glad we could finally see just each other in our gaze.
Took a long while for us to get past the sadness,
and angers haze.
There’s never enough time though, is there?
I guess post life we’ll have to finish all the repair.
So nephews, what have I learned in all of these years?
What wisdom can I impart to help through all of our tears?
Our Mom, your Grandma, had wounds too, huge ones that bled on us.
That broke us, molded us and shoved us out into the world.
And that blood fell from us and landed on you.
But she needed love and she needed healing too.
So did we and now so do you.
The generations before us need the wounds to close.
as do the generations that have and will follow.
Time to end the cycle that left us all mournful and hollow.
To my Father who to this day I still don’t understand
or know for sure your part in the play that was our life.
To me you were a sad bystander who did little to change or take a stand.
To my Mother for learning too late that you were me and I was you.
That you were pregnant late in life at a time when post par-tum was new,
and still misunderstood.
And instead of helping,
others just hushed the incidents away
believed you would somehow be ok.
To my Brother for never telling him nearly enough how much he meant to me.
And that most of my anger and distancing
was just misplaced adolescent jealousy.
To my Sister for leaving her alone in her sadness for far too long.
And not being the sister she needed to stay strong.
To my family for needing to heal and grow
before being emotionally able to finally come home.
It wasn’t really ever any of you.
It was me not knowing how to heal or pick up a phone.
Or how about breathing, or how to forgive.
Or how to seek for you to forgive,
my part in perpetuating a generation
of sadness and pain, even forgetting at times to live.
I miss my family more than words can say.
I miss those who have passed and gone too far away.
My wish is for generations of hard feelings to be mended,
and distance between us all be transcended.
If for no other reason, then at least for the children who remain grieving,
upon the tear swept day of my sisters leaving.
Let’s not let the generations that follow,
become as empty, nor as hollow.
We’ve suffered silently apart to long
not letting the sorrows of the past be gone.
Let’s let her legacy
and that of our brother,
Be of healing and helping
Your Aunt, your cousin, your great aunt, your great cousin, and always your family…
With all my love,
My Sister, Linda