Posts Tagged ‘family love’

I was in third grade, about eight years old. My grandmother on my dad’s side lived in Mexico and I rarely got to see her. I had only seen her about four times. I loved her. She was my dad’s mother and she was family. My dad had spoken about her so often and with such love that I had grown to love her, too.

My aunts and uncle lived in the same town we did and my grandmother was coming to visit us all. She wasn’t going to stay with us. She was staying with my aunts and uncle. She was coming by bus and was arriving late at night one Saturday. I wanted to see her when she got in but it was going to be really late. I begged my mom and dad to let me stay up and go see her at my uncle’s apartment when they got in from the Greyhound station. Finally, they agreed and I could hardly wait to see her.

The phone rang letting us know that they were all at my uncle’s apartment. My dad and I got in my dad’s station wagon and headed to my uncle’s. I was so excited. I took some candy we had at home to give to my grandmother. If we had had anything more than candy, I would have taken that too. We got to the apartment and found a parking space a block away. I was so excited to see my grandmother that I just about ran all the way from the car to the apartment door. My dad laughed at me and I could tell that he was glad I was so anxious to see his mother. He knew I loved her.

Once we got inside, we went in the kitchen and sat down. My grandmother was in the bedroom. I wanted her to come out so I could give her the biggest hug I possibly could but she took a while to come out. When she came out, I ran to her and threw my arms up to hug her. Instead of walking into my hug and embracing me, she stepped back and put her hand out to shake my hand. I stopped, confused, but then put my hand out to shake her hand. It was not what I expected, not even as a hand shake. It was a limp hand. All she did was put out her hand. I did the clasping and shaking. She merely held her hand there as she ignored me and just spoke to the grown ups.

I was shattered. I loved her and had expected her to love me back. I had wanted to embrace her and pull her close to me. That hadn’t happened. That was the first time I remember feeling rejected. It hurt so much. I didn’t know at the time what or why I was feeling it. I just know I felt like I wanted to cry. I wanted to run away to my dad’s car down the block and drive home and jump into my bed and cover my head.

That night I learned that not everyone feels bound to their family just because they are family. Not everyone has unconditional love for family. Not everyone is capable of loving.

I’ve seen it again, repeatedly and if I had had it my way, I would not have learned those lessons at such a young age. They would have come soon enough without having come on that night.

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