Get the glue...

Your family are people that you don't choose...isn't that how the saying goes? Today, as I was watching the Super Bowl, I was struck by the fact that family was a major thread that went through this game. The two Harbaugh's coaching opposing teams in the greatest football game of the year. This may never happen again. These two men are only a year apart, most likely one each others best friend (and worst enemy) growing up. Each being proud of the other, that the team they coached won and had made it to the "big game," while also secretly (or not so secretly) hoping that their own team comes out victorious, although not too victorious as to be embarrassing. It seemed like all the wishes came true. It was a good game, pretty evenly played and everyone will have something to complain and cheer about in the end.

I think about my family and spend some time wondering. When I was growing up, my mother didn't build, what I would call, a healthy vision of family. I always liked her family a bit to the mafia...with them or against them. I can remember when I left home at 14, I was definitely on the outs. I am not sure I was every really forgiven for leaving, although it was clearly the most healthy move.

I think when I moved in with my dad at 14, I was broken. My step-mom, angel that she is, took me on with all my scars, both showing or not, but ultimately, I was broken. I did not have the same kind of loyalty that she did with her family. I watched from the outside, fascinated at the way people interacted. It was a world that I was not from. I wanted to be a part of that world but struggled to do so.

Many of those scars have healed and I am much better at the family game, but, ultimately, I still think that a part of me is forever broken. If a relationship is failing, it is not hard for me to walk away. This is nothing to do with loving or not loving, it just is. All the years of compartmentalizing  my life left a place where I can throw the broken relationships in my life. I want to learn to fix them...I believe that I am open to learning, but sometimes I wonder if that piece that was broken when I was young is unfixable.

I feel the relationship with my own daughter and I can't imagine being separated from her. I mean, she is an adult and has her own life, but if she walked out one day never to come back, my heart would burst, yet my mother walked away without looking back. What does that mean? I have spent most of my life trying to figure it out. Was I not worthy? Was I easy to throw away? Was she done?

I am afraid that her actions erased some part of me that has feeling...I mourn lost relationships, yet have no idea if I should (or can) try to fix them. I seemed to miss out on that maternal lesson, what do you do?

Family are the ones who are supposed to love you whether you are broken or not. Family is not necessary tied to you by blood, but by heart. I am grateful for the family that I have that are willing to walk behind me and pick up the pieces of myself and my life that still fall occasionally. It is important that when we are cracking up, someone is there to get the glue.


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