This weekend was overwhelming. I had an emotion hang-over.
What's that? You ask.
It's when you are bombarded with so much emotionally that you wind up sickish afterward, headache, tired, needing a quiet place to reboot.
It started Friday, I got a call from my mom saying my uncle, who has lung cancer, is not well. It's never good when cancer comes into the picture. Comfort comes from knowing where they are going... I fear for my uncle's salvation. He was the type of man that loved the outdoors, he would often say he felt closer to God feeding the deer or fishing, then he did inside a church. I can understand that, he married my Aunt and she like Mother were raised strict catholic. Though I have heard my uncle speak of God, I've never heard him or my Aunt talk of Jesus. I am the type of person where I will flat out ask you: "Do you believe in Jesus? Do you know what he did for you and for me?"
I am the type of person that WANTS to ask a person flat out...
But I've been looked at crazy. Many times by my own family. You know the look that you get when you go "churchy" on someone that hasn't found Jesus. They look at you crazy, like if you get too close your crazy will rub off on them and they'll go around saying "Praise the LORD! The end of the world is near..."
I broached the subject carefully with my aunt one visit. It didn't go well. She laughed it off and talked about the crazy nuns she had in school. After that I would keep my comments "safe"; I'm praying for you... My love for Jesus got us through...I know God has a plan...Things that would be safe for her to hear, and I suppose safe for me to say without risk of seeming pushy. Which my Mother has informed me I can be with my "opinions".
My belief in Jesus is NOT an "opinion". It is a belief.
So now that I got the news he is not well, I wonder what is my "place".
On Saturday we gave the kids a choice of going downtown for the Winter Carnival grand day parade. Normally we don't go down for this, we go to the snow sculptures and fire truck rides on Sunday, but we have had very little snow to speak of and the sculptures were canceled this year. I also avoid going downtown for Carnival because I don't want to run into my dad. We have not seen or spoken in 5 years. I had to let that relationship go because boundries and life styles were not respected.
The kids wanted to go. I was okay with that, I was prepared at the possibility of seeing Howie.
As we were walking to the parade route I ran into someone who knows my dad, and me.(Most everyone involved with Carnival knows Howie.) I knew then that it would be impossible not running into him. I was told where he was, I figured I better find him before he found me. I ran into my sister before that happened. Again, another relationship that has been strained at best. She had much to drink. She thought it "fun" that a reunion of sorts was about to take place. I swear she enjoys watching me work myself out of difficult positions, and throwing some bombs my way.
I was bombarded by people I hadn't seen in over 15 years.(Carnival acquaintenances) My sister had led my daughter back to my Dad, my son was with me, Rob was scouting a spot for us to watch the parade. I made my way back to Howie. I was surprised at how UNemotional I was. There was no tears, or flood of emotion. Not for me. Not for him that I witnessed. He did however take delight in introducing us (The kids,Rob and I) to any and everyone that stopped to say hello to him. This is not new, He likes to feel important, having "his" family around him makes him look good...look important...look loved.
I wasn't guarded, I wasn't anything. I've been here before. Carnival is safe. It's when he wants us around, it's the rest of the year...then he demands the times we are to show up. I stopped taking those demands, and that led to a 5 year absence of him from our lives.
Then my half brother showed up. You guessed it; hadn't seen him in maybe a year.
It was weird; normal for me to see these people and act like time hadn't passed. (And I don't mean that in the good way, like with your girlfriends) I mean the disfunctional kind, where everybody knows it isn't right but nobody wants to own it or change it, because that would mean acknowledging their own disfunction.
My kids were shy. Not that I blame them, here's these people touching them and talking to them like they know them.
When asked how we were and about our life, I shared many of things we have gone through, mostly those that are current, Howie wasted no time telling Rob and I what we should do. He likes bragging, he likes giving "advice", only his advice isn't a suggestion, it's a "you better do what I say because I know everything..."
I nodded in the right places, listened courteously and said nothing to disagree.
Because I knew I would later have one hell of a decompression session!
He insisted, several times that we come down next weekend to ride on his firetruck for the Torchlight parade. (Yes, my dad has his own fire truck.)
The kids are excited about that, it is really fun. If you've never been in a parade come to MN in the dead of winter, I'll get you on a fire truck!
I wrote in my journal; "I wonder what this day will cost me. Everything has a price when it comes to this part of my family."
Is this the beginning of a reconciliation, or is this going to be another drop in the bucket of garbage I've collected over the years?
Time will tell, for now I'm going to spend plenty of time praying about it and being okay with being who I am, who I've become, and who God wants me to be.