Once upon a time, there was a family who lived in harmony. Speaking often. Spending time together and laughing so much it would echo outside. They had love and respect for each other.
Even when they disagreed, they managed to move passed it.
The family had dinners on Sundays after church and every holiday they would gather “at home” making room around the table. No one missed dinner. The house echoed with friendly conversation and belly laughs.
Even their great-great-grandmother made it. She helped make dinner.
All the attention seemed to flow from one man. The father. The patriarch of the family. Until one day, he was gone. Gone like all the light from the sky.
Only darkness remained.
Their mother tried keeping them together, but he was the glue. And eventually, it all started to come undone.
Sunday dinners and holidays were easily disregarded. Nobody visited home anymore. The bond the family shared easily became broken.
The secrets from the past started surfacing. No longer buried, but alive. Time couldn’t kill them. If only the dead could talk. What would they say?
All the hate. The shame. The ridiculousness. The blame. Surrounding one little girl. Something no one would ever forget.
The family divided at last. Walking around on scattered shards of glass. Not to upset the sleeping giant.
Until one day, the little girl had children of her own. One little boy, she thought would help mend the family. Bring back the family she once knew.
Church. The family dinners. The phone calls. The holidays she once knew. Before it all went to shit.
She grew up missing out on so much. Her family. Her brothers. Knowing a part of her that was taken, even though she was not denied a childhood. She didn’t have a choice in the matter.
But the grudge had to stop. The depression had to end. The sleeping giant had to wake up and be happy for today.
Mistakes were made that had to be forgiven– for the sake of future generations. For the sake of present generations. Because families make mistakes.
So the family moved on. Hoping to reclaim the family that was lost. Only reconnecting was harder than they thought. Taking effort they hadn’t thought about.
Maybe they couldn’t find the right words to say? More than a decade passed. Who was their little girl now?
All they knew was their boys and their secrecy. They valued their family more than the family as a whole.
So family dinners never came to pass. Holidays went by without the clan around the table. Great-great grandma is long gone now. Grandma wonders when the next time everyone will get together will be, if ever.
The little girl brings her own family by in the hope that one day her family will know them. But her expectations are never met. The sleeping giant never awakens. His complacent wife all too happy to stay in her room on the computer.
She used to blame herself for growing up with her grandparents. She wanted to hate herself for the way her parents seemed to act toward her. The way her dad always said, “Ask your mother,” when she wanted to stay.
For awhile, she questioned everything and hated them for it. But not anymore. They can have their secrets until they die. She is a stronger person for the way things happened.
Secrets can destroy a family. Decimating any relationship. Killing trust.
Once upon a time there was a family who lived in harmony, but not anymore. Now they are quite dysfunctional. Like everyone else.