The 2nd part of my trip was to see my niece graduate. She turns 18 today 5.30, one of my best male friends has a bday today, my sister turns 37 tomorrow, and a nephew turned 15 this weekend, and an ex turned 37 Friday - so its birthday bonanza all around!!
But the weekend was bittersweet - here's how. Drama: 1 of my brothers is a complete deadbeat, he's cheated on all his girlfriends, has a nasty mean streak. Again, you know the type - when his gf Ellie got pregnant, he decided to cheat on her. He carried on an affair with, and I apologize for this, one of the most undesireable looking women I have ever seen, but to him, an easy lay is an easy lay! Meanwhile, Ellie gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl, also everyone said she looked like me.
She was the 1st grandchild, and our first niece - needless to say we doted on her. Between my 2 sister's, my mother and myself we took turns being her caregiver. Between while we were at school, switching off when one had afterschool activities, and nights - we once kept her for close to 2 weeks. I remember one night she was crying, I woke up and picked her up, went out to the couch in the living room and laid her on my chest - at which point she went back to sleep. I returned to my room, carfeully so as not to wake her - propped myself up with several pillows and we slept through the entire night that way.
I imagine that when I do have a child, I will have that same love share with my child. See, this was the first time my sisters and I had ever come face to face with unconditional love. In much the same way that you can never explain to a child what death is and they will never understand it until they grow up and lose someone they love. Well that's how we found out what unconditional love is - so powerful, so all encompassing, unbridled.
But, to quote Matrix 2, "such a thing is not meant to last".
Ellie found out about the affair when the other woman became pregnant (ok, no more dirty family laundry for today - I apologize in advance to the fam). Ellie must have felt utterly betrayed and may have thought we knew, meanwhile my sisters and I had no clue - we were wrapped up in our studies, being good students and all that. So she decides to break all ties with him, including his family - us! Needless to say we were heartbroken, had no remedy as, my brother is a deadbeat and would never challenege custody or requested visitation.
So, we swept it under the rug - never talked about it, dropped it and tried to go on with life as usual - but that pain left its indelible mark. My oldest sister - takes to every child like their the last one on the earth and its her personal mission in life to help and save them all. My middle sister, has decided not to have kids. Myself - anger and constantly entering into one wrong relationship, after the next searching for the love I once felt.
I went to the graduation expecting that it we would pick up right where we left off when she was a baby. She would recognize us and fall into our arms and we would have a good, long cry about it. Again, I was wrong - boy I am on a roll! I felt like a stranger, seeing another stranger for the first time. And we were treated as such..I was so angry, I waned to leave and not stay through the lunch reception planned. As I'm walking out her maternal grandmother asks/pleads with us not to leave, to stay through...it would be so rude to leave after that, so we decide to stay. And it didn't turn out all bad, we got to talk to our niece a little more, learn more about her - and it turned out all right in the end. Here's to starting a new chapter with her and making up for lost time.