Monday, March 16, 2015

... the broken glass...

As bloggers, we open up ourselves to readers and often reveal our personal business. I try to keep others’ privacy. This post may not seem that way but I assure you that I am writing it from my own perspective and am trying my best to respect my family.
 
That being said, this morning’s post included that I would be going to help my dad clean out my brother and his ex-wife’s storage unit. It’s important to note that she still has me listed as “sister” under her Facebook relationships (because we all know that that is oh-so-significant). She has moved on and I think from the pictures and posts her new fella seems great. Her family seems happy too. I’m silently waiting to be unfriended… even though we did become friends, I’m a friend because she was married to my brother. 

While I will mourn that moment that she forever disappears, I also pray for it because then I’ll know that she has truly moved on.

Cleaning out the unit, I had a list of personal items that she wanted to keep. Writing that the storage unit was a mess would be an understatement. And because the items have been in a non-climate controlled unit for six plus years, the boxes were starting to deteriorate. For the most part, I found her wish-list items with a few pieces completely missing because good lord those two couldn’t pack but they didn’t really have time… but that’s another story and one that is not mine to share.

The point of this blog is about loss. I’ve divorced twice and each time it was messy and complicated but in the end, I was okay… even happier. I’m trying to remember that. What I never considered was how my friends and family members were experiencing a loss too. Once my dad even asked if he could contact my ex so that the two of them could attend an event together. My response was something like, “OHMYGOD DAD! NO!!!!”  Only after I found out about my brother and ex-sister-in-law’s divorce could I understand how my father felt. These people we attach ourselves to become family. How did I never understand this? I was so caught up in my own relationship ending that I failed to remember this. 

Our culture has so many rituals for relationships beginning and how to include family and friends; yet, we don’t have any for the end of relationships… for family and friends that is.

Today when I was going through the boxes, I found one of the coolest wedding keepsakes that I’ve ever seen. I never saw this in their home. It’s the glass from the end of the wedding ceremony. The one that is shattered and everyone shouts of "Mazel Tov.” A company has taken the pieces and created a custom-cast lucite keepsake. With it, I found the card which reveals the symbolism behind the tradition. The last paragraph sent me in a blubbering of tears to my fella. “We must always remember the care required to maintain” all of our bonds—to our spouse, our significant others, our best friends, our loved ones. Relationships must be nurtured if they are to remain alive. Always tell loved ones, "I love you" and mean it. I spent about five hours at the storage unit with my father. He's nearly 77 and while healthy, that is a great amount of work. We laughed about our father-daughter bonding while trading swears about my brother's packing habits. But seriously, the day was sad for both of us, for my mother, and for my now ex-sister-in-law whom I was texting throughout the day.

Here the keepsake will sit on my bookshelf because I didn’t have the heart to throw it away and neither of them wants to be reminded of the sadness.  I look at it and I am reminded of my participation in their wedding, how she pulled me into the circle when she was dancing with only women in her family. My family is Catholic but that meant something to me. I was her family and she was mine. Now I am grieving their divorce again although it was several years ago, and I am grieving my own disconnect from what was our family. I am also reminded to take heed of my own relationships and make sure that they, like the little flowers that will soon sprout in my garden, are being nurtured too.

11 comments:

  1. Great post! That is very true what you write here. I love that you kept the glass, I think I would have too

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  2. I understand you in that you were against a connection between your dad and your ex-husband. It is kind of hard to see how your family still likes them although you don't. I often miss my ex-boyfriend's family who have always been very kind to me. We were together for a long time and I lkied them a lot! But it felt strange to want to meet them again so I didn't...

    The broken glass and the Jewish tradition are a nice reminder that the vows we do connect us forever, even if we stop liking each other. Lieflines move closer, connect and move away again, but still the knot we tied remains in us and forms who we are...

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  3. I love LOVE love this. What great reminders.

    I've thought of my family a lot as I've gone through my various breakups and new relationships, feeling bad about dragging them through bonding and unbonding somewhat "willy nilly" for my sake. They've always been wonderful about it, but I know it's not easy for them.

    Thanks for writing this and thank you for sharing it with us.

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    1. Aww, thanks Friend! I appreciate this.

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  4. What a lovely post. I think I'd have kept that glass, too, since it still means something to you. And perhaps your former sister-in-law doesn't want to "unfriend" you. Perhaps she still sees you as a friend, or even as family, and hopes you do, too. And if you want to stay friends as well, there's nothing wrong or disloyal to your brother in that. When my son's dad and I split up, I called his mother to let her know that I would never keep her grandson away from her, and that I hoped we could still be friends, although I'd understand if she didn't want to or felt that she couldn't. We had an excellent relationship for many years after that; in fact, just a few years ago, she loaned me the money to have my transmission replaced when it died suddenly. Not all ties have to end just because one relationship does.

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    1. Thanks Lucretia. I appreciate this. She and I have sent texts throughout the day and I shared that I kept the piece not exactly knowing what to do with it. I hope that we can keep our relationship in the same way you've kept yours with your son's grandmother. I'm sure she appreciated that you reached out. I think sometimes when there aren't children involved people assume that the breaks are easier. I don't think they are. I really, really hope not.

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    2. I don't think they are, either. Perhaps you should let her know how you feel. :-)

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  5. What a beautiful keepsake! And interesting musing on family. My partner's sister is a very good long time friend of mine and we have realky interesting conversations.

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