Just because you are family, doesn’t mean you are friends.
My mom and I have uttered that phrase many times throughout the years. We normally mention it when we are chatting about the fact that we are such close friends and how we find our tight relationship to be quite a rarity among family members. Among all of my friends, coworkers and outlying family, none of those people share the love and bond that my mom and I have. We see a lot of surface-level interactions, where people are cordial, polite and relatively kind to one another, but nothing that remotely exhibits real friendship. Maybe it is just our family, although I believe these types of things occur in a lot of other family circles, but I see more fake bullshit, jealousy, arrogance and rude behavior than I see genuine kindness and love from some of my aunts and uncles, not only to myself but more so to my mother.
Throughout the years, I have seen several of my aunts and uncles, including my mother’s only sister and her dorky husband, treat my mother as if she was less than in every respect. Despite my mom being the older sibling, who has always cared for and loved her little sister, my aunt has routinely spoken condescendingly and disrespectfully both to and about my mother. As my mother’s daughter, I hate this. I am really sickened by anyone who mistreats my mother, who is such a kind and loving woman. My mother would give you the shirt off of her back (in fact she has with children in need in South America) and she exudes love and happiness every day that she walks through life. She greets all those she comes in contact with on a daily basis with a smile, generosity, friendliness and a feeling of genuine realness that is too often lacking in human interactions these days. I believe that my aunt acts the way she does because she is an insecure person who is unhappy with herself and jealous of the beautiful relationship that I have with my mother.
Despite the lack of relationships that I have observed in both my own family and countless others, I am so thankful for the lovely mother that I have. From the love, guidance, grace and endless support she gave me as a growing girl, to the friendship and pure fun we have during our visits throughout the year, I am so grateful for her in my life. As both of my parents are in Poland right now, and I am even further from them geographically than I normally am cross-country, I am sending love to those two wonderful people in my life. May their bellies be full with fresh perogies and their hearts full of happiness…and should they choose to order the pig cheek from the room service menu for a late-night snack, I hope it brings a smile to their face.
*6:59pm update: I almost forgot. My intention with this blog post of the next was to make a commitment to write a little more and to truly make this one of my more important and present priorities. Now that school is done and the pups are getting older, and therefore mildly more independent, I have a little more free time that I want and need to devote to this passion project. So join me on this journey as I pledge to write more frequently – don’t hold me to it if I miss a day or two though, ok?