Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Downside of Home


Back to the trip at the beginning of LAST month, to the auld sod, Lockport, NY.

See, there are bad things about going back home and there are good things. And often they are identical. Family.

Yes, I love them, but sometimes I remember why I am glad that I live 500 miles away. See there is the stupidity of who exactly fits the definition of family.

It should be simple, but it often gets complicated. For instance, that lady in the picture, with les filles is my Aunt Fran. That is easy you say, she is definitely family. But she is my father's sister and not my mother. And therein in lies the problem. This was an event for my mother's side of the family. So we got stuck in the middle. My Aunt Fran wanted to be to honor my Grandmother with us. She has known gram for oh, 45 years or so.... but this was considered a matrilineal event only. Hence the trouble.

Ironically, my Aunt Pat who arranged the celebration did NOT have to extend that consideration to her in-laws... and they showed up in droves. Ahhh, family. You gotta love 'em, right?

Yeah, but sometimes you have to grit your teeth and remind yourself of that love.

Extended family goes double... maybe even triple. My second or third cousin maybe removed or not, loves poetry... and wow, it can be a pisser. Last year's poem, left me considering suicide as it covered my Grandmother's life history in iambic pentameter... see, even I wanted to give up the ghost when considering all the dead people in our family.
This year, I was braced, double-vodka, in hand, as the "Program" began after lunch. Yes, it was time for another poem. Luckily, we didn't have to go through all the death and destruction again... we just got the year long update. There were some new babies, so that was cheery, but my cousin, Ellen died suddenly during the spring and it had to be memorialized in verse. Her daughter, who might be the only family member reading this, didn't attend last year's shindig due to illness and so wasn't aware of what was coming... and frankly, we all forgot to warn her. She might have needed a triple vodka to be ready for it. Sigh.

The last problem with going home is me. Leaving Lockport meant leaving much of past there with it. Going back, means having to face it. and that sucks. So that meant that we had the obligatory stop at that funny park at Lincoln and Transit. The memorial to dead children. They don't call it that. It has a nicer name and is quite lovely and peaceful, but I hate to have to go and remember the pain that came with the loss of my brother. I know it is just a brick, but it is the most depressing brick in town. And knowing some of the other brick owners, The Dockery's and Semo's and those people who lived up Akron Road from us, whose name escapes me at the moment, wasn't much better.

And worse, was my folks leaving this park to go visit the cemetary to see their names engraved on their headstone. I just couldn't this time... it was to much. I did it last year with just my girls.... that was bad enough.

That all being said, it was good to see everyone. Because even if you have escaped yourself, you should go so far that you forget yourself entirely.

1 comment:

Jen Busch said...

I love you. Thank you. -Jenny