This was taken at a family reunion, the end of October. Zoe had been buried less than two weeks. Why I decided to go to this particular event, so soon after losing her, I can only guess that I felt obligated to be there with Ivy.
We go to a lake, in the middle of the woods (note cypress moss hanging from the trees) and stare at a fire and eat and if there's enough water in the lake, fish. There are quite a few very redneck activities that civilized people like my family only do in the woods, away from the city like snipe hunts, trailer rides to spotlight possums and sending the little kids out there to catch them, which they never do, stuff like that.
Everyone knew my daughter had just died. There was a family tree, on the back wall of the large meeting space where we all eat. I ran my finger along it, followed my grandparents and found my father and then me and my sister. (I'll bet you didn't know I had a sister) Branching off from our names were my nephew's name and Ivy's. Where was Zoe's? I searched around and found a marker and a piece of paper, and I wrote her name and I put it there and no one said a word. It's still there now, when they put it up every year. She was part of our family. She was one of my children. Did they think I wouldn't notice?!
Since I was a little child, this reunion lasted for nearly three days. We stay in tents or cabins by the woods and cook everything there. That year, I stayed for part of one day and happily went home.
I don't feel close to my family anymore. They were always mostly emotionally unavailable, except for the emotion that they displayed while they were gossiping about you in a boat or at the sink or in a deer stand. These days, I feel very alone at family functions and they seem to lack the small bits of warmth that I remember from my childhood. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I truly think when my grandmother dies, we will all drift inward to our immediate family and be forced to create new traditions. It's very sad that life does this to families. It proves that bitterness is the ice that freezes in the rock.
Dec 4, 2009
Posted by Lindsay at 6:57 AM