Honesty Hour: “Ex-Family”, shares the struggle of losing loved ones to divorce and keeping your head up through it all.
Honesty Hour: “Ex-Family”
When people ask me, “how many siblings do you have?” I say, “2, a younger sister and brother.” (Now, I’d also say “and 2 step siblings” as my dad recently got remarried). “Where do your parents live?” “They both live in Sandy.”
What people don’t know when they ask those common questions and what I don’t say is… that I’m thinking to myself, “Do I explain everything? Oh no, it’s too complicated. But I really do consider them my siblings and my parents or at least that they were a big part of my life at one time…” Usually the convo passes with out anymore being said. I always have that debate in my head, always. And usually, I stick to the simple answers.
Today, I feel like I should share the whole truth and the real.
The correct answer to, “How many siblings do you have? And how many people are in your family?” goes a little something like this…
“I have 2 “full” siblings, 2 step siblings, and 4 ex siblings. I have a mom, a dad and a step mom, 2 ex step dads, and 1 ex step mom. With that, I have A LOT of ex grandparents, ex cousins, ex aunts and uncles. Not to mention all of my “current” grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.”
To be honest, I am always thinking of past experiences that shaped my life and made me who I am today. ALL of those experiences include at least one of the “exes”. Yes, it hurts. Yes, I’m confused. Yes, I’m grateful for the roles they played in my life. Just yes to all the feelings. Some of them I still talk to once in a while… some I don’t. Some I wish I could still talk to. Some I’m scared and some it’d be “awkward”.
What amazes me is that even though it might have been awkward for them, all of my “ex grandparents”, except 1, came to my mission farewell and wedding. They have shown me amazing support even though I was technically not “theirs” anymore. This is the same for some of the ex cousins, siblings, parents, and aunts/uncles.
Being forced to love someone and to let them into your life at first, is hard. Having no choice when those people are ripped out of your life, is hard. Keeping contact with them, is hard. Still loving them even though they are “gone”, hurts. Being grateful for them and what they taught you in life and forgiving the fact that for whatever reason things are different now, is a choice. Being grateful for the little contact you have with some of them now, is a choice.
To the “ex step siblings” that were a huge part of my life for 10 years, you are still my siblings to me. It will never be the same and it will never be what it used to be. We won’t ever have Christmas or family vacations together again… and I would still do anything for you. I still love and care for you as much as I did then.
I mean… you just don’t forget people who have been in your life for years!!! You just don’t.
I (try to) choose every day to be grateful for the people that “were” and are in my life. I don’t believe that it was a mistake. I believe that it was what it was supposed to be.
Tune in Next Wednesday for more Honesty Hour’s on Cooking with Ruthie!