Stranger in the Family

I have no relationship with my youngest cousin.  Marty (not his name) is the youngest grandchild. I am the oldest grandchild, and I suppose Marty is at least 10 to 15 years younger than me. We didn’t interact during childhood at all. We had nothing in common, he was a boy, I was a girl, and we were years apart in age. Anyway I didn’t see very much of my family during my childhood. As I have said in many other stories, I lived with my mother who was the black sheep of the family and her brothers all lived upper-middle class lives. When I did see my cousins, I was always in shock and awe at the lovely things that they had. But, I lost contact with the little family that I did have when my mother died, and we were put into foster care. 

I did see my cousin Marty when one of my cousins and I connected by phone 10 years ago or so, and decided to try to have a family reunion with her siblings and parents, myself, my siblings and our children. The reunion was lovely. It was then that I got to just simply get a glimpse of Marty. He was very introverted, he seemed to have his arms crossed over his chest most of the time and did not speak much. He did not make much eye contact with others. We were in North Carolina for the reunion for about 5 to 6 days. During that time Marty was competing in a sharp-shooter competition. I would come to find that Marty had such incredible sharp shooting skills that if he had chosen to go into the military he would have definitely been a sniper. Marty won at every level of the competition. 

After the reunion I would have one more interaction with Marty. Sadly, despite how wonderful the reunion was, my uncle endeavored to do an underhanded real estate transaction with me and told me some lies. I’m not a foolish person, and if I’m going to invest in real estate I am going to do some research. That is how I found out about the lies. Four months later my uncle was diagnosed with cancer. He told my cousin to please call me and asked me to come and see him. Believe me, this was a very odd request. But my cousin Marty did call me and reach out and asked me to please come and visit his dad on his deathbed in the hospital at my uncle’s request. I do not like death, I do not like dying, and I do not like to be the sponge to receive someone else’s unburdening of themselves for their wrongdoing. I am not God. I had worked very hard to reconnect our family, and I was kicked in the face. 

And so I told Marty, I’m sorry but I just can’t come. I didn’t elaborate. I simply said, I’m sorry I can’t come. Marty was furious. He said, how could you do this to a dying man. I said, Marty I’m really sorry please tell him that I have love for him, and I wish him a gentle passage. But, Marty I cannot come. I wish you peace Marty, and I wish you healing goodbye. The attached photos here are because when I look at them I just see something missing, do you?


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