I lost my mom to leukemia 12 years ago on this May 29th. In August it’ll be 5 years since I lost my dad. He had walked me down the aisle one year earlier. I hate not having my parents. I miss my mom every day, but I don’t let myself think about it because I don’t want to cry every day. Even though I have multiple cousins and aunts and uncles from my dad’s side, I never spent time with them or got to know them. Consequently, my family is very small and narrow. I have my husband, my sweet, wonderful husband, and I have my sister, who is also sweet and wonderful. I married late in life, so no kids. My sister never had any kids, either. So here we are – a one generational family. My husband was born to his parents late in life, and he was estranged from his mom even before her death, so no family there either.
Why take the time to explain all that? Because last week a teacher friend lost her mom. She had lost her dad before I met her. My heart hurts for her, but I see her with her kids and siblings, and aunts and uncles, and I’m jealous. I’m jealous because of all the loved ones she has around her. Several months ago a close friend lost her dad. She’s making plans for her mother to move in with her family. She has a brother and a sister and nieces and nephews. I’m jealous of her, too.
I don’t say that, of course. Because I know it would be hurtful and self-pity is no good. But it hurts. When I was a kid I had a typical family. We visited my maternal grandparents several times a year. My mom’s brother (who committed suicide 28 years ago) and his family were around at holidays. I spent summers with my cousin (his daughter) at my grandparent’s lake house. This is not how I envisioned my life would be. I don’t talk about it. I can’t. Because really, what good would it do?
I have a good life. I have a job I love and I work with great people. My husband loves me and we have a good life together. I have a best friend who is like a sister to me, and the best sister in the world. When I married my husband I may not have gotten a biological family, but I did get some really great friends that are like family. Life is good. It’s just not what I’d planned.
Maybe a part of me is mourning losing the life I thought I would have, and maybe I need to let that happen.