Day 26 – Embrace Me

Yesterday was my one of my favorite Auntie’s birthdays. She has become 88 years old. She is one of my Mom’s three sisters. We ran out of time talking, but she asked me to call her back. I promised I would call her back today. Tonight I am chastising myself, because so many things came up today, I ultimately broke my promise and now it is midnight … too late to call her; She is surely sleeping. I remind myself; I forgive myself for being human and having to take care of urgent priorities which came up within the day; However, I cannot forgive myself for breaking a promise. I take responsibility for not calling at the very least, to let her know I did not forget her, but I had urgent business.

Lately, I’ve been feeling very fortunate about my family. In retrospect, my family was given more blessings than hardships. I’ve had a Mom and Dad who loved me beyond the ends of the universe; I’ve had Aunts & Uncles who have taken such active interests in my life, my hobbies, my goals and my aspirations. I’ve had Grandmothers & Grandfathers who I know beloved me as their Grand-daughter & never did they hold back their embrace; Never did their disappointment overtake them to any extent that they would shame me, disdain me or chastise me with disdain, ambivalence or belittlement. My cousins & my peers — that was a different story, for a different time.

I miss them all … all of my family; Most of all, I miss my mother & father. My mother came from a large family of 5 brothers and 4 sisters. She was the youngest. When she was four, she contracted Rheumatic Fever. If damaged her heart, giving her a heart condition for the rest of her life. She died at 68 years old of this flawed & failing heart. Her surviving sisters are all coming upon 90 years old. How I wish that my mom’s path were different; Had she never suffered rheumatic fever; Never had heart damage, she too could still be with us, surviving to at least 90 years old!

My mothers Grandparents originated from Germany; Immigrated to the United States. They signed into the US through Ellis Island, boarded a train and arrived in Chicago, Illinois. Once there, they located enough land to purchase to build a township. They named this township, Bellwood. I find it amusing when I internet search the pages of this little township of Bellwood, they list in their history that they’ve no idea how Bellwood came into being, who built it or how it originated. I’ve often thought of writing a letter, documenting it’s history and giving it a foundational connection.

How often does the heart wish to find it’s way home? Too many times to count. The heart yearns for that which is given in youth … it is innocence. We call it ‘home’. Home … “Embrace me now as I was when I was young!”

Auntie asks me often, ‘When will you write the book?’ … I am so often asked by family … ‘Will you write the book?’ … ‘You could write a book, you know … you are so good at writing! Write, Cindy … Write a book’ … I wonder if perhaps writing is a way to return to what used to be, as they remember it. It was an idyllic time … lost long ago; Gone as the wind takes the autumn leave in a wind storm.

Yesterday, she asked me once again, “Will you write a book? You are so good at it, you know!” I told her, ” I don’t know, Auntie! I don’t know if I have a book in me!” She said, “Oh my! I am sure you do! I know it, just as I have always known you have the talent!”

My mom loved to read it my writing. She was fascinated with the way I could put words together. She saved my poetry in notebooks in her office. My sisters also quest me to write a book. They wish me to write our mother & father’s story. The problem with this is that all four of my sisters have a different perception of what Mom & Dad’s story actually was. A story in my words could likely cause even more of a chasm of misunderstanding between us. Still, I don’t see why it should stop me from writing at all; Maybe I should write a book … LOL

My sisters … Now there’s a story line!   They have conflicting perceptions of what our family  was even now … It’s only been 18 months since Dad died & still they have arguments & hostilities. Of all my family ties, my bonds with my sisters should be as strong as all the others … Yet, my bonds with my sisters have become almost non-existent. The hostilities and animosities are so heavy that the bonds have seemed broken beyond repair.

Looking back, I realize that when I was young, I was protected from the harshness of life. No matter how hard anyone works at it, you cannot protect a child as they mature,  from the realities of life, death and all the other realities that come along.    Many of my first hard realizations began at about 6 years old.   Yet still, while I look back … I can see that the were always protective measures, until  natural events of life, aging, illness, job losses, economic debts and deaths began to wear away all the pretense of heaven & home on earth.   ; As every year passed, everyone became older. A generation closely knit & born together, can die within a month or years of eachother. Within the last ten years, so much of our family began dying … not from accidents or disaster; They have been dying from natural causes and old age.

The harshest of realities & realizations arrive …
Nothing lasts forever.
Everything passes.

I feel the need to write not just one book.
Maybe I have more than one book to write.

Maybe my first title will be, ‘Embrace Me’