What No One Else Understands

For as long as I can remember, my mom has told me that she didn't want an only child.  That she knew from before I was born that she would have at least one more child.

She always said that she didn't want her only child to have to deal with the rough times (her example is always the loss of a parent or grandparent) in life alone as she did. That she wanted us to have each other to help each other through.  To understand what no one else would understand.

I think I finally get it.  And it breaks my heart that I do.

M. and I have never been close.  My trip to Texas this summer was a turning point for us; we actually behaved like siblings who loved each other rather than adversaries.

Since then we've communicated pretty well and stayed in much better touch than we have before.

M. is getting married in October.  On 10-10-10 to be exact.  To J.

It's in the middle of football season and for weeks I threatened that if there was a WVU Football game on Saturday 10-9-10, I wasn't going to fly out until the game was over.  I threatened, but when push came to shove (I learned that there is a home game scheduled for that Saturday), I decided that it wasn't the right thing to do and that the man and I would head to Dallas whenever M. and J. wanted us there. 

Our little brother (dad and step-mom's son) will be a freshman in High School in the fall.  He's in the band.  Friday nights he'll have high school football games to perform at and on home WVU Game Saturdays the band sells frozen lemonades at the games for a fundraiser.

Today, my dad called M. and told him that little bro and step-mom won't be coming to his wedding.


And while no one didn't come to my wedding, I know how M. feels.

We don't really fit anywhere.  Our family broke.

Our dad has a new family.

Our mom has a new family.

We are constantly in the middle.  Trying to please everyone.  Trying to see everyone.  Biting our tongues.  Saying we were wrong, when maybe we weren't.  Watching our parents call people mom and dad who we don't call Grandma and Grandpa.

We are constantly seeking acceptance.  Trying to feel like we belong on this side of town.  Or on that side of town.  Wondering why our family broke.

Mom's reasoning for wanting more than one child was so that the loss of a parent or grandparent wouldn't ever have to be born alone - so someone else would understand.  But our days of no one else understanding came much earlier than that.

And today, I understand what no one else does.  And my heart is broken for M.


  1. My heart breaks for your brother, too. Divorce, I have come to believe, is one of the most selfish things in the world. I lived through my parents, and I don't think I could live through another one. My siblings and I are closer than any of us will ever be with our mom or dad. That's just the way it is. We feel like we can only rely (truly rely) on each other. We would never try to rely on our p arents...we have each other and now our spouses...and that's all we need.

    MAJOR HUGS to you and your brother. I truly understand how you feel and you will be in my prayers.

  2. That really really stinks. I don't know what it feels like, but I know how special that day is. And I'm sorry they don't realize, or don't care, or whatever.

  3. What matters most for M. is that J. is there. :) I know that may sound too simple, but honestly? It's true. And while M. has you for support, M. and J. are now embarking on the start of their own family. While they could dwell on the people they've always known and their decisions yesterday or today....what matters most are the decisions M. and J. make. Together.

    I hope that they are able to see that the actions that matter are theirs, and that they are able to truly enjoy the journey that IS a marriage and the joining of their lives. You know as I do that it's what is truly the joy in a wedding. It's not who celebrates WITH you, but who understands and supports what you are DOING. :)

    Enjoy their day with them, and be sure they do as well.

  4. Ouch.. I grew up with a broken family, People say it is hard on kids. Im telling you even after I was grown it hurt. My kids watched new kids come to my dads and hug and kiss him and call him grandpa. It is hard.

  5. One thing that I often take consolation from is that you can pick your friends not your family . Heck lingering skeletons in peoples closets(SP?) are bound to come out when a wedding is on the horizon or at the death bed of a loved one .

  6. Oh, friend, my heart just broke with this. I'm sorry about it all. But I'm thankful they have you to be there for them.

  7. It really stinks that you and your brother have to deal with this. I sometimes wonder whether parents (and especially fathers) feel as if they have already failed so much with their first children that they might as well not bother and just focus on their "new" children. It is a horrible thought, but it sometimes seems like it from the way that they behave!

    While your father's (and stepmom + little brother) behavior is quite sad, I am confident that the fact that *you* care and will sacrifice to be there will be enough for your brother. My father was planning on not coming to my wedding (he changed his mind 2 weeks before it happened) and I can honestly say that while it was sad, he was not the one that really mattered. Having siblings who cared was huge.

  8. Becky, I was so moved by your entry and by the heartbreak I share with you and Michael. I hope that your brother will have a wonderful wedding and never have another moment of sadness. M an J will be starting a new chapter in life together. They'll always need their families' love, but I hope they realize, as you and Cliff do, that marriage can be forever and that a good marriage requires constant love and attention. The best revenge is living well.