Saturday, November 03, 2012

Among the Missing

It's 2am, and I can't sleep.


As usual.

I've had the oddest sleep schedule lately... If you can call it that anyway. I've been getting a few hours, from early morning to mid morning basically.

Anyway... I got to thinking tonight (dangerous I know)...

I really miss my family.

It's not that I'm morose or anything... Just reflective.

Now, I don't mean my wife and kids (though I do miss my kids; I spend all day every day with my wife right now... and love every minute with her, but we're not apart enough to miss her); I mean the rest of my family.

Over the last two years, I've lost both my mother and my brother. I miss them... even my brother.

He was a criminal, and an abuser, and a thief... but I still loved him. He was still my brother, and I still miss him.

The last few years of my mothers life were... bad. Really bad actually. There were times when she was in such pain... There were times, after a seizure or a stroke; where she didn't even know who I was.

When she finally went, it was a blessing. At least she wasn't in pain anymore; and I went through most of my grieving long before she passed.

But I still miss her.

Over the past two years, I've also managed to lose another quarter of my family... just in a different way.

I won't go into details... just that through their actions (or inactions, or words); I finally came to the point where it was necessary to permanently exclude them from my life.

... and I miss them.

I haven't seen my father for more than a few hours, in... I don't even know right now...

I was able to visit him this past March, when I was in Boston for the memorial for my mother that never happened (which is part of why the thing above turned out as it did)... I spent some good time with him then... and a few good hours the year before for my brothers funeral...

I talk with him all the time... When I can get him to pick up the damn phone... (he doesn't pick up the phone most of the time, and he doesn't respond to messages or return calls... Never has).

But I haven't actually spent any time with him that wasn't spent in mourning in...

I don't know, I think it's about 13 years?

I think it was in late 1999?

I miss him.

I grew up with a big family. They were all around me all the time. We were... awfully close, in both senses of that term I suppose is the way to put it.

We beat the hell out of each other, both physically and emotionally.

But I still miss them.

I left home at 16, went off to college, the Air Force... Lived all around the world, all around the country.

..Up until recently, never in the same place for more than a couple years. Up until seven years ago (it'll be 7 years in 8 days actually), mostly alone (I was with my first wife for four years... but frankly spent far more time away from her than with her... One reason why I was only with her for four years).

Mostly, I haven't spent all the much time with my family since; excepting a few extended visits here and there, and a year or so when I lived back in Massachusetts, to work for a couple of startups.

In fact, for 20 years, I haven't really spent much time with any of them.

And frankly... for the most part... they don't really know me at all. There are entire five year periods in my life where most of them don't even know where I was or what I was doing... Most of them barely know my wife at all... Some of them seem to have a hard time remembering I have one.

And now, as I'm reaching middle age (I guess technically, by average life expectancy of my birth cohort, I'm "middle aged" in two years), I find I miss them more.

Not even so much their company (though certainly that)... but in having them  to share things with; good and bad.

Of course, I share with my wife and friends, who I love dearly (and I love my in laws very much, and my stepmother and stepsister; and those of my aunts, uncles, and cousins who are still in my life); and they are my chosen family without doubt... but it's not quite the same thing.

I find, when I have big news, or around a holiday, or when something goes wrong... It's like there's something missing.

That they're not there to tell about it, that's what's missing.

And that's what I'm missing.