Tuesday, July 22, 2008


It's 11:45 and I wish I could make my keyboard be silent but clickety-click...away it goes. Both grandbabies are sleeping at the moment...glory be! The easy-to-rouse one is in my bedroom with the door shut. The atomic-bomb-wouldn't-wake-him one is in the next room. Hopefully they'll both stay asleep for a while so I can have maybe five minutes to myself! If not...oh well. I'm used to it!

Something rather surreal happened this past weekend. My son and his wife went to a Toby Keith concert at the Amphitheater at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Vancouver...

(...and it is now 6:49 pm. Guess who woke up?! The one who could sleep thru an atom bomb, ha! So much for Grandma's sneaking-in-a-post-during-naps idea!)

Anyway. Back to the Toby Keith concert. For those of you who have been with my blog since its inception, you know that I have been estranged from one of my brothers and his entire family for 16 years. Estranged on his side, anyway...he cut himself off from my Dad and my other two brothers, too, and has had no contact with any of us unless it's been totally by accident since then. Even then, he scuttles away without any communication with us whatsoever. As for me, the last time I ever set eyes on him was 16 years ago. I don't know if I'd even recognize him if I saw him on the street now. He's 57...he was 41 back then. I've tried several times thru the years to reconcile with him and his family but there's been no contact in return. When our father died, my oldest brother went over to our brother's house and knocked on the door when he wouldn't return phone calls to no avail. Someone was obviously home but they wouldn't answer the door. Our father was absolutely devastated none of them would come see him before he died.

And so...that is family history in a nutshell.

At the concert, as my son and daughter-in-law sat people-watching before the concert started, who does my son spot four rows in front of them but one of my brother's daughters and her husband. He knew it was her immediately because she hadn't changed at all from what he remembered. And that was a long time ago, for him. He was 13 years old the last time he saw anyone from my brother's family. And what did he do? He went to speak to them. He asked her, "Do you know who I am?" and she said no, she had no idea. The last time she saw my son, he was about my height and barely into puberty. Now he's almost 30 years old, 6'3" tall, and around 220 pounds. "I'm your cousin," he told her. And, bizarrely, she and her husband were ever-so-nice. After the concert my son told her, "It was nice seeing you again." She told him, "It was nice seeing you, too. Tell your parents hi."

And that was the jist of the conversation. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. When our daughter asked him if there was anything else said, he told her no...what do you say after not seeing each other for 16 years, under such circumstances? At this stage in life, even if the whole mess was somehow reconciled, where would you begin?? I guess with "Hello," and let it go on from there. There's just too much water under the bridge and so much hurt that it's caused, especially when our Dad died and they never acknowledged it in any way, that I think I'd be content knowing all was at peace and leave it there. I can't imagine myself sitting at the same table, celebrating holidays, and carrying on like nothing had ever happened. I have several grand-nieces and grand-nephews I've never seen. I don't even know their names. That is how long this deep freeze has been going on. The one grand-niece I have seen was 3 then; she is almost 20 years old now.

I was out walking Chloe dog last nite and I happened to look down on the pavement and spotted a money clip with money tucked in to it. At first I didn't believe my eyes. You know how when you stumble across something like that, your first reaction is, "Wow! What if there's a thousand dollars in there!" In my neighborhood? Nope. Ain't gonna happen. But there was two $5 bills! No one was around...it was just lying there along the curb edge of the sidewalk. What do you do? I brought it home and stuck it up on top of the refrigerator. I'll buy muffins for Dylan, Chloe dog, and me with it, I guess, over the next couple of weeks.

And so it goes. And goes. And goes.


The Guy Who Writes This said...

See you did have a productive morning even with the kids around. You even got to reach into the way-back machine.

Judy said...


Can't live with them. Can't get here without them.

Jane Doh ! said...

Nice find Kris...consider it a bonus from someone smiling upon you that sees what a wonderful job you do taking care of your Grand babies.

Mike S said...

Grandkids are the real justification for having children.

It's such a loss on all sides when families can't reconcile, although a times some problems are beyond the ability of one or both parties to get past.

Life can take funny twists, I was brutally abused by my adoptive mother as a young child and sent to live on a relative's farm at age 7. When she was in her 90s and suffering from Alzheimer's, guess who was the one family member to take care to see she had all she needed? Also the one regular visiter other than a cousin. Sometimes even the deepest wounds finally heal enough to prevent permanent damage to ourselves.