The way that we are raised affects how we are in life. Nature vs. nurture is this huge debate in psychology, and I can not help but wonder about the good, and the bad aspects of family.
I'd like to say that I had five people raise me, my mother, my maternal grandparents, and my neighbors across the streets. I know that it's not traditional for a young person to be raised by four elderly people, and a woman, but hey, that's how it was.
My mother taught me to become strong and independent, and if I want something, to go and get it myself. She taught me that you don't need a man to be there for you, you just need yourself. She is the prime example of you don't know what to expect in life, so be cautious and know what the hell you are doing.
My grandparents individually taught me things; my grandfather taught me to laugh, and to always be happy. He taught me to never be too serious, because life is too short. My grandmother taught me that an education is always important, and that dedication is key to marriage.
My neighbors taught me the power of faith. Both devote Catholics, they taught me that God is always going to be there. My auntie Ellen taught me to not take any crap from anyone, and to be a tough broad, because you shouldn't take shit from anyone.
In the span of six months, I lost two of them. My grandfather died in October, and my 'auntie' Ellen passed away in Febuary. Uncle Buddy, Auntie Ellen's husband is currently in a nursing home with Alztimer's disease. It's hard for me to even think that they could be gone, when a year ago she perfectly healthy. She was full of life, as was he. And now they are both gone.They both won't see me walk the stage at my graduation in a few months, nor see my prom dress. My grandfather won't be able to teach me how to drive, and when I get my license, I won't be able to take him out to lunch like I planned. My auntie Ellen wouldn't be able to hem my wedding dress, or teach me how to sew like her. I always wanted to learn, like how to hem clothing and such.
With my wierd family, I also felt a small space of what was missing. I grew up without a father, and everyday, I often felt a confusion of whether or not I loved my father, whether I should forgive my father for what he's done. After fifteen years of bullshit (ie having plans with my father and then him not showing up, him not going to my grandfather's funeral to pay his final respects to a man that he himself said was one of kind, in addition to countless of other things), you often feel like you're done with everything. Then you think, that man is my father. That man helped me come into this world. I should respect him, right? Then you lie in a bed of confusion for most of your life, thinking that if you give him another chance, then maybe, it would be different. In weeks' time, however, you're back to the way that things were. And then you think it's your fault.
Our family is like a poker game: we get what we are dealt with, and then we pick up random pickings off a game.
Rest In Peace Auntie Ellen: 1933-2012
Rest In Peace Grandpa: 1927-2011