Families…after knowing his family for nearly 40 years and being a Brown for 37 years, I often still find myself trying to figure out where my place is. I have participated in the family drama over the years….I’ve reacted with bad attitude as well as been the recipient of what I considered to be hurtful gossip. As we said goodbye to my mother in law this week, I had an ah ha moment thinking about being an only child trying to find my level in a family of 4 siblings who grew up together in a tight knit family. I realized at the funeral yesterday that I’m never going to be “one of them”….. But, I’m still part of the family and have my place.
On the way to the funeral yesterday, I was feeling some anxiety because I knew two of the ex spouses would also be there. This wasn’t a problem for me but I was thinking about how I would feel if he had been married before and I was about to be thrown together with the history of the old families. While I believed that my empathy was not out of line, I also felt this was the way it should be. The mothers of the grandchildren who were saying goodbye to their grandma and these ex spouses were daughters in laws of this woman for a long time.
While I felt a little dance of discomfort in the beginning, everyone was accepted, greeted and included…it was actually an amazing show of love and acceptance. I was proud to be a member of this family….brothers, sister, spouses, cousins and ex spouses.