Friday, August 29, 2008

I have had a very emotional few weeks. Things have not be a fun ride. I have been coping with labor disputes at work, possible plant closing, issues with my childrens health and my own, the list goes on. My faith was rocked, my life was in chaos and I was ready to throw in the towel. So when Lori sent me Aunt D's email-my heart sunk. Every aspect of my life lately has gone horribly wrong, and now I was faced with contacting her. I was completely convinced that it would end in a heartwrenching way.

But I did it anyway. I was compelled to do so. Let me give you a little background so you understand where I am coming from.

Last year I was having a typical day, kids, dogs, school, getting ready for work. Normal stuff. Until the phone rang. It was Lori. All still normal, Lori and I speak on the phone several times a week so I was not surprised to hear her voice. Until she said "I have someone that wants to say hi"
I assume it is one of my younger brothers-why wouldn't I assume that? Then she says "Jim, say hello to your daughter"
Goosebumps rose all over my body, my knees got weak, my mouth went dry. And in my own classic/cool form, I respond "HOLY SHIT! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!"
well 'respond' isn't quite the right word. I was shrieking into phone, swearing like a madwoman.
Nice first impression, huh? Yea, I'm cool like that ((pffffttt......))

So soon we were making plans to meet, see each other, meet some of his family. I was on cloud nine.
The day finally came and I made the drive to see him. I was a wreck and when Lori and I walked up to the building, there, directly in front of us was a man. His back was to us so all we could see was a long grey pony tail laying down his back, but she knew. "THATS HIM. Thats him-I'm positive" she said.
My palms were sweaty, my stomach was churnning and I wanted to turn around and run back to my car. But it was too late. He turned, saw her and smiled. He knew her immediately too. No doubt about it.
Then he saw me, I don't really have the right words to explain the look that came accross his face, but it was good. He has the most sparkling eyes I have ever seen. He was smiling broadly-you could see it even though his mustache hides a good portion of his face.

We had a couple beers, talked and did a WHOLE lot of staring at one another. Finally the time came to go to his sisters house. Now I seriously thought I was going to throw up. See, no one knew about me. No one. I had no idea what they were going to think.
I was shocked when they treated me like family. I was home. We had a fantastic afternoon. Many laughs, old stories, hugs. I felt a peace I had never had before. All the pieces had just fallen from the sky and fit into place. A rather big day for lil' ol' me.

Fast forward to now. Since the reunion things have been different. We have spoken a few times but not much. People are busy, things happen.
One day I called Jim's mother, just to say hello and see how she was. I was answered by another sister of his and it was not a pleasant conversation. Her distain of me was evident. She made no effort to hide her irritation about me contacting her mother or anyone else in the family. I got off the phone feeling like a chastised child. It was the beginning of a downward slide for me. I questioned my place in Jim's life and his families. I doubted his mothers offer to call her whenever, Aunt D's generosity, every aspect of my reunion with them.
Jim has been so busy these last few months that I could not even talk to him about this. We just can't catch each other. This only added to my paranoia. I was positive that he was backing away and the rest of them were just being polite that day.
I severed contact. It wasn't hard, like I said, Jim works all the time. There is no room in his life for me, so I simply quit calling. No one made any effort to contact me, so I was sure I was doing the right thing. After all, my intention when I started all this was not to intrude upon this family. I did not want to force myself on them, I just wanted to know them.

So there I was, reading an email from Lori, with Aunt D's address staring back at me. Aunt D had given it to Lori, but that didn't mean she wanted me to have it. My head swam with questions of 'what if....'
But I did it anyway. I sent the email and told her I would gladly walk away, no hard feelings. She wrote back telling me 'no way' I am family no matter what. She assured me I was welcome and wanted, no matter what her sister said. AND SHE SIGNED HER LETTER 'AUNT D'!!!!

I have an Aunt D!!!! ((doing happy dance right now))
Maybe things are looking up. Maybe a little of my faith has returned. MAYBE, the streak of everything I touch turns to garbage is over. I don't know. I do know that I have an aunt and grandmother that want me and love me.

Today is a GOOOOOOD DAY.......

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4 comments: to “ I HAVE AN AUNT D!!!!

  • Cricket
    Friday, August 29, 2008 at 12:13:00 PM PDT  

    You bring tears to me Rachel. I am so happy for you. I understand you have a huggge family to get to know. I cannot begin to fathom the depth's of emotions you must be having. I'm so tickled for you and them. Your a terrific young woman.


  • Lori A
    Friday, August 29, 2008 at 1:32:00 PM PDT  

    I too am so happy for you. All that worrying I did over her contacting me, and all she wanted was to get in touch with her family. You have had your share of troubles but you are still a very fortunate woman.

    Congratulations on your family.

  • Anonymous
    Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 10:14:00 PM PDT  

    You brought tears to my eyes Rachael. I can only dream of that sort of a reunion.
    Stuff the hoity toity Aunt, everyone else wants you..
    Even in non separated families there are people that dont like each other - so dont worry about that.
    Im very Happy for you (((((((((Hugs)))))))))

  • Unknown
    Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 2:05:00 PM PDT  

    Rachael: Your are sooo awesome! Every family needs an Aunt D! God Bless her heart! Hopefully your other aunt will come around. If not, truly she's the one that will miss out. There is always one in every family that has to kick up their heels! These are kind of people would like to tell to take a hike! It's great that your grandmother has opened her heart to you! Grandmas rock!!! You come from a strong Strange, Burton stock! You truly are a trooper!!! Hang in there! You deserve the very best!


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