This isn’t the post that I wanted to write.  I’ve been chewing on another idea for what seems weeks and nothing seems to come out.  But, sitting in the quiet dark of the early morning, I’ve been confronted with yet another victim of my life due to being temporary.

My family.

Over the years, there have been strains and struggles just like all families have.  Except for the large periods of silence in my relationships with them. 

I used to misquote someone to justify my stance with regards to my family.  Family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you choose.  To a large extent that is true.  We choose who in our lives deserve to be trusted.  For some that familial bond isn’t the strongest.  For others family is more important than our own breath.

I haven’t had my breath taken away in a good while…

You would think that the people who’ve been with me the longest would help me stay grounded.  However, I grew away from them at an early age.  Too smart for my own good, too precocious.  I learned to keep secrets well and often.  My parents didn’t know the extent of my alcoholism (they still really don’t know much) until I had 15 years in AA.  So the changes and temporary nature of my life ended up causing lies to pile up and eventually they couldn’t trust me and didn’t know me.

I lost some wonderful time and trust with my father, mother, and brother.  Years upon years of being separated from them emotionally, physically, and temporally.  Even now, my brother is isolated and our relationship is damaged to a point where I don’t know, because of his personality, if it will ever be repaired.  I could barely invest in those relationships where people didn’t know my whole past, where the pains of the past weren’t always staring me down… I regret much where it comes to my family.

But there are a couple of people that feel the isolation right now.  And there is another new one that came into the family earlier this week.  Because of the continuously strained relationship with my father’s wife, her children and I don’t have much contact.  It was a choice, but it was born out of the understanding that I couldn’t be around her.  She drove a wedge between my father and I, and I helped her keep it there for far too long.  Pride is an insidious and destructive thing. 

She has two children, Lisa and Steven.  And because of the venomous relationship between their  mother and I, it almost ruined me and my father.  It definitely ruined my relationships with them.  Especially when I couldn’t or wouldn’t come around.  For almost 10 years.  Now they’ve gotten married, both of them.  Both have children… and I have never seen any of them.  I barely have met their spouses.  And now I have a second step-niece that I haven’t met.  Born on Monday.

While I lament the fact that so much time has gone past, at one time in my life, I could expect another group of people to be there to fill up my life, distract me from the hurt that lingered within my chest.  But, in trying to be more permanent, I realise that there are just people… family… that you cannot get back once you lose them.  I am so thrilled for Lisa and her husband.  A second child… 

that I will probably never meet…

and I am so fallen.

Take care of those who you choose, and of those that choose you.