Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Family Tree

As you can see from the image, my family tree is a little complicated. As I like to say, members in my family like to get married, have some kids, and then get divorced. This has left me with 12 aunts and uncles (two of which are younger than me) and seven grandparents. Obviously, those aren't all my "real" grandparents. One of my "real" grandparents I don't even know. And one of my "not real" grandparents is the one I grew up closer to than the rest. It's a complicated family.

My paternal grandfather, Aaron, has been married three times, producing six children. His second wife, Mary Kay, the mother of three of my uncles but not my dad, she is the one who I grew up very close to. My dad calls her mom and my sister and I call her grandma. Her husband, who we called Roy or Papa recently passed away. I loved Roy, he was always good to my grandma and the extended family that he married into, and so I feel quite guilty that I can't make it to Oklahoma for his funeral. My dad says he understands, and I'm sure my grandma understands. But I'm torn about all of this. It's all family, regardless of how we got to be family. But, also, when there is so much of it, and when I've been away from it for so long (having moved North when I was 11 or 12) family becomes complicated.

My sister and I were planing (are planning?) on going to Oklahoma to visit our "roots" and scope out the different apartments we lived in and schools we attended. Even though I haven't lived there in more than 20 years (more than half of my life) there is still this pull to this place called "home." My answer to the innocent question of where I am from changes depending on the mood I am in. And if someone is unfortunate enough to hear the whole story, from Oklahoma to Texas to Minneapolis to Chicago to Cleveland back to Chicago, their first assumption is that we were "army brats." Oh if it were that easy. Because then we'd have an excuse, a socially acceptable reason. But no, we don't. I just say we were nomadic. Which I guess we were - we just don't know why.

Just like I don't know why our family is so disjointed. If you know me, you know I like structure and order. My family history is probably a big reason why. It's probably a big reason why I waited until I was 35 to get married (that and I was waiting for Mr. H.). But this family is also part of the reason I am who I am. And I can't say that I ever lacked for family to love me. So our family tree is colorful. I guess that makes it more fun.

No comments:

Popular Posts