Facebook is where I connect with the family I never see. I have cousins and aunts whom I can now miss from far way and love from far away. In some ways it makes them more loveable.
For instance, when I look at a picture of my cousins sitting next to each other talking to other people I can think, “aw isn’t that cute.” I can for a few brief seconds forget that those two people don’t really like each other or that there is friction.
Today I was looking at some summer pictures of my cousins and I saw something that was strange but once I remembered the family dynamics it made complete sense. This side of the family (I’m not saying which) has its problems (like any other family) and there has been some real hurt. In this picture there is an obvious group of people and then an obvious split from other people. There is a giant gap in the picture which makes me ask did they know they were doing that?
My first response was that they have no clue that they just put this huge gap between themselves. But the group on the outside has an insider obviously making an effort to have them be part of the group. It is very odd to look at. The first time through I thought that’s interesting. I mean I knew something was off about the picture but I wasn’t really sure what it was. One side of the picture is grouped tightly together, where people are almost on top of each other. Then there is this obvious gap and the other group which has gaps in it and is a much smaller group.
I wanted to comment on the picture that it was odd and that I wanted to use it for a paper. But I decided that that was in poor form and that I should instead write an ambiguous blog.
There is a wedding this summer that is happening in the family that is a secret. Now if you know anything about me you will know that I abhor secrets. I have lived way too much of my life in secret. I wish I could go to said wedding and be supportive. I wish there would be an opportunity for me to give my blessings to the happy couple. But the wedding is in secret because of reasons I will not share (because it is their secret and not mine…if it was mine I would tell you but I can’t). This saddens me to my very core. Weddings should be happy occasions not occasions filled with secrecy. I can understand why it is a secret wedding but can a wedding/marriage that begins with secrecy last? I’m not asking this question to be a witch or to be mean or anything like that. I am asking because I want to know.
There seems to be a veil of shame over this wedding. It is complicated and I understand that. I look at this cousin who is getting married in pictures and he/she seems to be caring this shame with him/her. That makes me sad to my very core. I want him/her to be happy. We are similar creatures: shy, inward processors, middle (kinda) children, (that’s all I can think of right now, I haven’t seen this cousin in person for years). I can understand why this wedding is in secret but both of these people come from huge families…I just wish for their sakes that it wasn’t in secret.
I understand that there are people in their families respectively that are having a difficult time with this wedding. Heck, in the beginning I had a hard time with it and even today (if I am going to be completely honest) I am trying to wrap my mind around it but I still want my cousin to be happy.
All families are surrounded with secrecy and lies. All families have shame. I just wish that families were different. I wish that there didn’t have to be a scapegoat or a lost child. I wish that we could open up to each other about the real stuff and that it wouldn’t be scary. I wish I could open up to all sides of my family and it wouldn’t be scary.
We want our families to love us and for the most part they do. But what happens when they don’t? I think that is the question behind this secret wedding. My cousin, God bless his/her soul, is afraid of what will happen. Now I haven’t actually had this conversation with him/her. But if I had to guess I would guess that this cousin is afraid that the love will run out. That this secret marriage is so wrong (in other people’s eyes) that they will stop loving him/her. THAT IS A LIE!!! Lies are horrible. The lies we hear in our heads that keep us from the ones we love and those that love us are horrible.
THE TRUTH IS THAT ONCE YOU START LOVING SOMEONE YOU CAN’T STOP (at least in family)!! Maybe my heart is more open than others or maybe my brain just started working again and I can see that your happiness (cousin) is more important than anything else. It may take more time for my brain to wrap around it. But that doesn’t mean in the interim that I stop loving who you are. I love you, the whole you, and that doesn’t stop no matter what you do. In the grand scheme of things your happiness is more important than any weird or awkwardness that may ensue.
The truth is family is forever. It doesn’t matter if you marry, or divorce, or if you’re gay or straight, or if you have an affair, or if you have been abused, or if you become an alcoholic, or if you never do anything in your life. None of that matters because family is forever. YOU ARE LOVED!!! AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP THAT!!!
To my cousin (who probably won’t read this): I LOVE YOU, THE WHOLE YOU AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU COULD EVER DO TO STOP THAT. I bless your marriage. May it be built upon love and trust. May you be happy most days and sad only a little. May you find the happiness you so deserve. May you live a life that is pleasing to God because in the grand scheme of things his is the only opinion that matters. May you be blessed with joy and laughter and children (if you so wish). May you live beyond secrecy. May lies never touch your lips and shame never enter your house. May you be a blessing to those who see you. May you LOVE in big and small ways. May your marriage be a blessing to those who witness it and may your life be filled with all God’s glorious blessings. Amen.