Who Is Family? Really?

My heart is heavy today for my Hubby. We are in a little disbelief right now at what we received in the mail this past weekend. Hubby was out of town with his best friend and I was at home with our daughters so I got to be the one to open the mail and what I found simply breaks my heart. I opened an invitation to Hubby’s parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party. You might be thinking “that sounds fun” or something similar, but I want to share with you why it isn’t fun.

Hubby, his’ parents oldest son, didn’t even know there was a party being planned. We knew it was coming up next month, we thought the family would get together and do dinner or something as his parents aren’t really the party type. That being said, with our lives a bit hectic with the move and such, Hubby hadn’t called his brother yet (one month prior) to discuss with him any ideas. There are only two children in his family, both boys. When I opened the invitation, I saw a party being hosted by one of their sons and his wife. No conversations were ever had regarding any plans to celebrate his parents, none. No one asked if we would like to be involved and here’s the thing, we didn’t even have to be if his brother and his wife didn’t want us to be. But respecting our family and including both kids on the invitation is just common sense.

I’ve spoken with several people about this situation. Typically it is not something I do, but in this situation, I wanted to know other’s thoughts on what happened. I did choose rather wisely when I shared, women who I know to be fair and honest with grace and love. So, that is what I got and every one of them were shocked right along with me that my Hubby was excluded as a host for his own parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Not only not included, but not asked to be there early and not asked to be a part of anything. Here’s the thing, if Hubby were married to someone besides me, he would have completely been a part of the celebration. For some unknown reasons to us, they really don’t like me. Last year Hubby went to breakfast with his brother and they had a conversation about some of the things they don’t like about me, and Hubby and I discussed them, but they aren’t things that I can really change about myself. I know that when I talk about being abused as a child, my sister-in-law gets upset, according to that conversation they had. What Hubby was told is that compared with her horror story of a childhood, I didn’t know what abuse was. I got frustrated with that, seriously frustrated.

My biggest question, that I wish Hubby would have asked is, “where do you get the right to judge my childhood against yours in the first place?”.  From the little story I know of hers, she is pretty broken by her childhood, I hate it for her! I hate it for all of us. We are all being raised by broken people and the further we get from Adam and Eve, the worse it gets. My childhood has some really bad parts. My mom was wonderful, but equally broken. She raised me, yes she and dad were married until I was 14, but she raised me. I don’t know that my dad ever held me as a baby, it would be weird. I know he left for Houston the day I was born and my mom stayed with her family until she felt I was old enough to travel and she felt strong enough to do it on her own with three kids , one a newborn.  I don’t know all the stories of my childhood, I think God has protected me from many of them, but my childhood was tough and from it, I am broken too.

For his brother to do something so hurtful to Hubby is awful. I don’t understand why anyone would let anger or hurt be this divisive. They do not like having conversations in Hubby’s family, they all think they are right and the others are wrong. It’s like that in my family too, now that my mom is gone. So, I begin asking myself, “who is family, really?” and I don’t know the answer. We have friends that treat us better than either one of our families frankly, I’ve heard other people say that about theirs too. Where do we invest? Because they are blood, do we invest there and try? Holidays are awful, it’s small talk around the table and then we move to the living room and a lot of us get on our phones. Each family pretty much talks to their own family and you can cut the tension with a knife, sounds like great holidays huh? Hubby and I started a Friendsgiving year before last and invited patients and friends that didn’t have a place to go and I can say that has been so much joy! We love laughing and playing games and eating lots of food, and to do that with friends that are happy to be here is just icing on the cake.

I know we are different than Hubby’s family, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be accepted. And it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t accept them for who they are. I have suggested fun things to do a our Christmas gatherings and they said no, I respected them and left it alone. I’ve tried to offer that all the way through and Hubby and I were together and married years before his brother was even dating. I am not going anywhere and so I pray that some day we can have a normal family life, until then, I will cling to Hubby and our three kids and all the beautiful friendships we have made along our journey, we are truly blessed. We will be a family as God created us to be, that is family to me and I thank God for them every day!

“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they couldn’t get to him because of the crowd. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you.” Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it”.   Luke 8:19-21 NLT

2 comments

  1. Chandra, I had no idea you had experienced abuse. I wish I had known and that I could have done something to make your life better. Your mother was a precious friend and I still miss her dearly! I hated that she went through some very tough times and often wondered if that stress brought on her health problems. You are in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judy, yes my mother was abused. She really raised us alone and bc of that she’s a saint. She did what she knew to do. She loved my dad and honestly, he has some good qualities. He was equally raised in a broken family, I have grave for him too. But, it was a painful childhood to say the least. Thank you for loving me and my mom!♥️

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