Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk. ~ Susan Scarf Merrell

This is a photo of myself, my brother who is 2 1/2 years older than me, and my beloved paternal Grammy. I say 'beloved' because, even tho I have no conscious memory of her, whenever I think of her I have this feeling of deep contentment and warmth come over me. I never realized as I took this  'photo of a photo' with my Android camera that the image of me snapping the picture is super-imposed on top of the original. Over 56 years time span between the original and the copy.  By the looks of my age in this photo I'd say it was taken sometime in 1955. On Easter Sunday the following year, my Grammy died of a stroke. My oldest brother, 6 years my senior, can still remember her. How I wish I could, too.

As to the other brother, the one with me in this photo, we became estranged over 20 years ago. I have not seen him face-to-face or heard his voice since he so abruptly cut me out of his life because I missed the wedding reception for one of his daughters. I was caring for an aunt of my husband's who was like a second mother to me while she was on her deathbed and couldn't break away. He told our father as far as he was concerned I was no longer a part of the family, and he meant what he said.  Not only was I cut off from him but also my nieces and my grand-nephews and grand-niece. If it wasn't for Facebook I wouldn't have any idea what any of them look like. Until recently I had no idea what my brother looks like now either, until one of his daughters posted a photo of him with her. To say I was shocked puts it mildly. The last time I saw him he was 41. He's now 61...silver-haired like me but he looks 10 years older. Has he been ill? Or is it all the bitterness piled up inside that's taken its toll on him thru the years?

I know I've posted about this in the past.  I was heartbroken when this estrangement happened and it took a long time to accept it and realize he truly was unforgiving and wanted nothing more to do with me. At this stage of the game it's one of those hurts that's kind of like a tooth going bad, a dull ache every now and then when I think about it. But a couple days ago I was searching thru our thousands of photos, trying to locate one for a friend of mine, and I came across this one and a few other rare ones from my early childhood. And I got to thinking about him. I thought about sending a copy of it and a few others to my niece...I have sent her a Message in the past on Facebook without any response.  I don't imagine he has many, if any childhood photos. Honestly, I doubted whether he'd be interested, so I put the photos away after I'd taken pictures of them and posted them on my Facebook page.  I shut the lid, put the box on its shelf in the basement, and resigned myself  -  once again  -  to the fact that the days when we sat side-by-side next to our beloved Grammy are part of a past I can never regain.

5 comments:

CWMartin said...

So sad that someone can be so petty and hateful. And selfish, thinking the world should revolve around him. Frankly, he's only hurting himself.

Jane said...

Unforgiveness is like a cancer that is incurable. Yes you are hurt, but your brother is dying, even though he may not even be aware of that fact. So sorry.

Anonymous said...

BUT--Kris, I have never figured out WHY they stopped talking to me--whom lives thousands of miles away from them--but it is such a shame to go thur life with feelings like they do..it's sad

Suburbia said...

20 years is a long time and his actions seem so unreasonable as you were caring for someone at the time. I'm sure you've tried but I have find writing letters in these situations helps. Have you tried writing to him to say how you feel?

Anonymous said...

Kris--it's me agan GINGER--when I said I don't know why they stopped with me--he did the whole family, even his father and brothers--so it wasn't just you--they (his family) have some problems...it's been 20+years for us, also that we have heard from him...