Archive for April, 2014

The ties that bind.



Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
So wrote Tolstoy, and when we read that line we all nod sagely and knowingly but as Bob Marley sang ‘Who feels it knows it lord’. In our society we live under the pressure of an idea that states: ‘blood is thicker than water’ and sometimes this isn’t the case. Of late I have been thinking of my maternal grandfather, I call him grandfather in the nominal sense for in all reality we never had a relationship. He died in 1998 and the last time I spoke to him or saw him was around 1983-1984. He didn’t live far away, not physically anyway but he lived a million miles away emotionally. For years, I disliked him or at least I thought I did but in reality you can’t dislike someone you don’t know. I thought he didn’t love me, not the way he loved his other grandchildren, but I realise now that I will never know if he did or not as we never really knew each other. To make up for it I romanticised my grandmother but she died in 1986 and in the cold light of day I had no relationship with her either. I think the last time I saw her was in 1984.

You know it is hard when you realise that blood isn’t thicker than water and I realised that when I was too young and I believed that it didn’t affect me but you know it did. All those years I thought I wasn’t good enough for my maternal grandparents and for all those years they cast a shadow over my life. God that shadow was so long and deep I never even realised I was living under it but I was. I realise now that I don’t hate either of them but instead I feel apathy toward them you see we never had a relationship and now we simply can’t. Goodbye to them they are gone. For all those people that struggle when someone says ‘blood is thicker than water’ remember this there are plenty of us out there that know this isn’t true. Remember you can create your own families and friends. Finally, for my maternal grandparents, wherever you rest, it was your loss you missed a good one in me.