Blethers and blahs

Random ramblings from a chaotic life

52 in 10 – Family

I have fallen a little bit behind with my 52 in 10 scrapping challenge recenly, but for a very good reason, which will become clear as you read this post. 

Week 2 was to scrap advice you would give to your younger self and I really enjoyed making this page.  It was difficult picking photos as there simple aren’t many of me growing up.

The next prompt was about music and I kep this one really simple but it’s a theme I will go back to at some point and focus more on specific songs that I really like and why. 

The next prompt was about family and this is where I got stuck.  I am the oldest of 3 siblings, I have 2 younger brothers.  Each of my brothers have children and none of us are currently married, though we have all been in the past.  There are step children in some of our relationships just as we had step brothers and a step sister growing up.  Many years ago, while my mother was still alive, I became very interested in geneology and I often think about how the nature of families have changed over the past 50 years or so.  None of my children are or have been married, yet 2 of them have children.  Families seem to ebb and flow more than ever before, people are included in the family set up or remove themselves from it completely, far more often than I remember happening as a child.

We always had what we called ‘waifs and strays’ attached to our family.  People that we felt needed to be part of a family environment, people who needed food, shelter or simply safety and love.  Often these were people my children had brought home and who became regular visitors for a while, before that it was people myself or my brothers had brought home.  They were, for however short a time, part of our family.  Sadly sometimes our real family got lost a bit, cousins and aunts that had moved further away and were not as accessible, and even my youngest brother who often takes himself out of circulation for months, sometimes years, at a time, when life gets too much for him.  As relationships break down and reform sometimes the close bonds that were held previously get lost.  That doesn’t make any of these people less a part of the family, just a bit less close than before, not less loved or thought about.

This was brought home so clearly for me, over the past 18 months. My brother who is closest to me in age has 3 sons, all now grown to be fine young men, despite many difficulties as they were growing up.  We have a strong thread of Aspergers, ADHD and Dyspraxia in our family which affects the males most strongly.  My middle nephew has had health problems of varying kinds for most of his life, each one worse than the one before.  Throughout all of this he has remained cheerful and placid and has taken everything on the chin.  He has dealt with difficulties that I would have struggled with and dealt with them so bravely.  18 months ago things became more serious and he required an operation to ascertain what the root of the problem was.  In May of 2009 he was told he had terminal cancer, he was 19.  He died very suddenly on 5th February 2010, aged 20, in his mother’s arms.  As a family we are devastated.  He was buried on February 11th, 20 years and 2 months exactly since he was born, also very suddenly, on the bathroom floor of his parent’s house.

His brothers have been so brave and have supported each other and their parents in the most amazing way.  My children have been fantastically supportive also and I am so very proud of them.  I know that over time the hole that has been left in our family will get smaller and easier to deal with but for now making a page about my family is simply too raw.  It is something I will do in time but just not yet.  For now my thoughts are with the remaining members of my family and my sorely missed nephew.  I am trying to take some of his never ending bravery and courage with me as I go through the days ahead and I know that I am not alone in this.  For now there are many of us learning lessons from the missing member of our family.  Rest in peace, my dearest boy x x x x