Thursday, February 9, 2023

Am I still your daughter?

I had this thought pop into my head.  I wonder if I am still her daughter now that she is gone?   Does she still consider me her daughter in the afterlife?  Or now that she is gone and Im without a mother, am I still a sister and an aunt?  While she was alive my sister had to deal with me, have me around because mom wanted me to be there for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and Holidays.  However now that mom is gone, I wonder,  am I still part of this family and do I still hold the title of daughter, sister and aunt?  

I felt the separation years ago, when my niece was married.  We were excluded from a lot of the festivites with regards to her wedding.   Our family took photos together, with the exception of me and my immediate family.  I am the only sibling and person that was excluded from this.  As well as our daughter was not invited to her only female cousins bachelorette party.  Even though they spent ever Holiday, birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas together their entire lives and they are so close in age.  They even went to high school together.  

Going back years when our kids were young, I accidentally ran into my sister and her family with my parents .  Shocked to find out they had been in town to visit "My sister and her kids" -but not me, I figured out...the hard way.  The moment I got out of the car at the grocery store,  to find my parents getting out of my sisters car, all dressed up.  That awkward and embarrasing moment when they realized they got caught.   My mom not sure what to say to me, and I felt sick to my stomach.   I got into my car, drove home in tears.    Why didnt they tell me they were coming out to our town, I speak to mom almost every day.  

 The college graduations for our daughter my parents never atteneded, yet they went to another state to see my sisters son graduate.  And yes they did attend my sisters daughters college graduation.  So many years of this heartbreaking exclusion and so many exclusions its hard to even process.  

So many people take for granted the gift of being included.  Inclusion is one of the most important things you can give someone.   I often wonder how my life could have been  if my parents would have included me in so many things throughout my life.  How my childrens lives could have been with grandparents, the type of grandparents my sisters kids had.  

Probably one of the saddest realizations since mom has passed away is that my grown adult children feel the loss of not having grandparents, even though they had them.  My sisters grown children got tatoos in memory of my mother, and when I told my daughter about it, she said..."Makes sense, she was their grandmother."  I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach, and kind of literally shaken up.  I really question if she was ever my mother or my childrens grandmother.  Time keeps passing by, without you mom.  And each day I find it harder to believe that I will never have closure, and have to find a way to accept that I will never have the answers to these heartbreaking issues.  I have to somehow find a way to be OK with the fact that I may have been a child you could never truly love but just tolerate.   Love Cathy