This morning at work, I got a text message telling me that my PawPaw Sam had a stroke and was in the hospital. I immediately started crying and freaking out, which might be a pretty normal reaction. But you have to understand that I have a really complicated relationship with this side of the family, and my first thought was, "Oh my gosh, what if he passes away without my having told him that I love him?"
You see, it's been several years since I have seen my grandparents on that side of my family. Or almost anyone on that side of the family for that matter. I let emotional junk and insecurities get in the way, and then so much time had slipped away that I did not even realize how long it had been.
It's my biological father's side of the family, and I don't have a relationship with him at all, and have not for most of my life. But I did grow up knowing my grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins. And I loved them because they always seemed to love and accept me no matter what I had going on.
I could try to explain it all to you, but I don't know that it would make sense. I was trying to tell Deputy D about it today after we saw everyone at the hospital because he had questions, but he finally told me just to forget it because I was making his head hurt.
I have always felt awkward and unsure of where I fit into the family because I don't have a relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named, and because I feel like they won't understand why I have a hard time letting go of the issues I have with him. But the biggest problem is that I had a huge falling out with the person in the family that I was closest to.
It was bad and ugly and painful for everyone. Now that we know what we know about Little Man, some of what happened makes sense but even with that, I don't know that the relationship can ever be healed. We have both changed and grown apart, and it makes me sad because she was one of the most important people in my life.
That falling out affected my relationship with the whole family, and I can totally understand that. After all, she spends way more time with them than I do because she grew up with them. And I can see how it would have affected everything because, like I said, it was very ugly and very painful.
I wish I could just turn things back and make it right. And I can honestly say I regret letting all the time pass without growing the relationship with the whole clan. Because I would be devastated if anything had happened to PawPaw Sam without him knowing that I love him or without having had the opportunity to say goodbye.
But it's not just them... Deputy D and I both have many sides of the family that we don't get to see very often or spend much time with, and it bothers us. We know our grandparents are aging faster than anyone is comfortable with, and most of the time health problems come right along with the aging. We have such a crazy schedule and so many issues we are dealing with, that we don't know how we can do anything differently. But we know we need to try.
Because that feeling I felt this morning, it was one of the most terrible things I have felt in a long time. And I don't want to have to ever feel it again. If and when anything happens to anyone that I love, I don't want to have to wonder whether or not they knew how much I loved them and how important they were to me.
So don't wait to make things right with someone you care about, and take a few minutes to call someone you love that you haven't spoken with in a while. Because you never know what tomorrow holds.