So, I sent a rather lengthy “this was 2009” email to family yesterday, and at the end introduced T to the rest of the family… the fact we’d been together 12 years, the two houses, the family holidays in northwest Ohio.
Today, I got email back from my aunt. It’s always easy to expect the worst, and to read into things, but I’m a pessimist, and it’s reinforced by my parents’ relationship with that side of the family. It’s always been distant and awkward… my dad is a loner and expects the worst, but my mom always makes the best she can of any situation, even if she knows it’s going to be painful.
My family are wordsmiths, that much is for certain. My cousins, my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother have written some of the most beautiful letters I have ever read. I don’t possess that gene, which would probably bother my grandmother. Every word my grandmother ever wrote or spoke was deliberately chosen, and it’s a skill I’ve seen evident in other parts of my family. It makes it difficult to know when someone is truly happy or excited, or when they’re just being polite. But man, are those letters a thing of beauty.
So, my aunt’s email reinforced two things. One, that my grandmother would’ve been happy for me, whether or not she showed it. This was my grandmother’s way. Again, her word choices would sometimes hide her true feelings… unnecessarily cold but the love was there.
The second thing was that she was happy for me. And T. And she let every cousin, aunt and uncle copied on the email know it. This was frankly unexpected, and only upon re-reading the note did it sink in. Hard sometimes to admit, and to accept, that things could actually be “good”. But, for now, I’m going to be an optimist, and hope that someday soon, T will get to meet the extended clan.