Every family has dysfunctional qualities. But family is important.
I stopped enjoying Christmas after my grandmother passed. This year was the first year I was happy and didn't cry. I mended fences with an old friend...we have been on the rocks a bit, but in life, if it's all smooth sailing, it's most likely an illusion.
You have to take people as they are - give and take. My mother says growing patience is my baby meaning I should work on that. I'd rather grow impatiens and look forward to cooking eggplant. I recently started gardening....but I agree with her.
I want love! And my own family. But I still have a family. I'm still blessed with people who care. I began thinking of life as a battyhole. The unacceptable had become acceptable and I didn't know how to stop myself from taking shit. Maybe I'll still take more. What I know now though, is that, I have a few reasons to want good treatment:
My nieces and nephews make me so very happy. I spoke to my 9 year old niece in London for quite a while on the phone. She asked me about my grandmother's funeral which is always hard to talk about. But it went well, the discussion which included the question: how did she die? A question I always want to ask people when I hear that someone has passed. I usually ask a third party. Annaleise asked me, two years on schedule. I was able to answer that she had a stroke. It was so good hearing that intelligent voice speaking to me with distinct honesty: Aunty Donyell, why do you sound so dreary? Are you bored? Aunty Donyell, did you get presunts tooooo oooo? Aunty Donyell, my Mom's not that young any more, really. Was such a delight - to wake up and see that there is still life and joy in my family. Grandma died, yes. But, Christmas will still come each year. The time came this year for me to realize and welcome it.
Then there are the two chickadees who live in Jamaica and are near and dear. Almost four and almost one. I love them so much though I have a closer bond with the almost four. She spent a year seeing me every day in her first year of life. We are very close :) My hair is unusually bright right now. She gives me a big bright smile and asks me why I coloured my hair like that? I wanted to say I do dumb shit sometimes. Instead I returned the sunny smile and blamed my hairdresser :)
I did not miss Miss Pearl as much this Christmas. Because the love of my family was a good substitute and distraction.
I spent almost a year, trying to earn love. My family messes up a lot but they still have a lot of love to give to me. Love cannot be earned really. It's not like money. Respect, sure. But love? Love comes into a person without explanation and not on account of a job well done. You can be a good friend to someone and in the end, you have a wholesome friendship. But when you love someone, you love yourself. Because you treat the person how you would want to be treated. It's the foundation really. For all human relationships, especially love.
I spent so much time trying to earn love and I just couldn't nail the audition, the job, the team, the promotion. I wasn't good enough. I was told this too.
This Christmas I prayed grace before Christmas dinner. Kayla interrupted to prompt that the grace was too long. I felt good to pray grace and feel like I belonged. Which is all I really want. To feel wanted and like I belong somewhere instead of lonely and desolate. I'm on the way too. This Christmas taught me that :)
I am learning to not let a moment overwhelm me. A bad day doesn't mean a bad life. A lonely feeling doesn't last a lifetime either. I enjoy the fact that I have a nice apartment as well as parents to visit and friends who can come by. I have a good life.