Must I Like All My Relatives?

Feb 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Relatively speaking, there are just some relatives that don’t shake it for me. Frankly, I have enjoyed being an only child for that reason, fewer cousins and such to cope with, less gifts to buy for holidays and birthdays, infrequent phone calls and emails to answer.

There are just some relatives for whom I edit the Jewish prayer to say: “May the Lord bless and keep them far away from us!” Just because of blood lines, long ago forgotten Thanksgivings and Christmases spent together, occasional weddings or baptisms or graduations invited to or attended, does not mean that my need to be a part of all the ongoing things in their lives remains a high priority. Some will call this blasphemy! I welcome it. The artificial carryings on at reunions and such are usually boring in the extreme. Call me Scrooge if you like. I call it honesty.

When someone, particularly someone older, dies in the family, the oft repeated remark, “why we haven’t seen each other since the last funeral” says a lot.

If laden with guilt requiring a response to a relative’s epistle or invitation or chatty gossip report, there is something one can do: Ignore it!

For those whose advice is to just “suck it up,” I remind that the method I choose is “sucking it up!” Doesn’t someone have to be the prodigal in the family?

To those who require an analysis of these feelings, I say “it is really none of your business.” There are stories and experiences, all capable of forgiveness and forgetfulness, but better left unrehearsed. If there aren’t skeletons in your closet, I’d like to know how you have kept such a clean closet.

To others, who say “forgive and move on,” I say forgiveness has nothing to do with it. If you don’t care for your neighbors, how much time have you spent forgiving and apologizing (for who knows what) and then moving along. I move along quite well without such rituals.

And for those who can’t stand the guilt, then obviously you have to work out whatever needs working out. If it is a miraculous conception or a total deception, please let us know. There may be some hope for us yet!

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