As the situation escalated, it became more apparent that it was more than just the disagreement between my mom and grandma. The minute you were involved and made the decision to sell the house, it became something more. In these arguments, every insecurity, past grudge, or bitter memory was thrown back and forth. Seemingly, a couple thousand dollars became more important than family.
The months following that decision were painfully slow but now feel like a blur of emotions. Sisters fought, made up, and then found ways to avoid one another. But after struggling for such a long time, we finally entered a stalemate. Then there was peace for a bit and we managed to remain in our home after paying an agreed amount. Both parties got what they wanted, so why can’t we go back to those times before?
Although we’ve moved past that chapter within our families, there will always be lingering scars we can’t shake off. Why do you all act so cautious around each other? Why do you sit so far away when you know we’re there too? I’ve always hoped there would be a time where we can all gather again for some joyous occasion. Do you remember us all meeting at one relative’s house for someone’s birthday back in the day? There would be so many of our favorite dishes, trays of fried chicken, and of course the steamed white rice in the cooker. You could hear the adults laughing with one another and telling stories while us cousins would jump on each others backs in the backyard. These are the memories I’d rather remember when I think of our family.
Every now and then, I stumble on this old family photo of my fourth birthday. Everyone was in the picture smiling and stood shoulder to shoulder. That was the birthday I blew up a balloon so big that it exploded in my face. That was also the day when my parents snuck in one dollar bills in the piñata for the first time. We went ballistic fighting over those dollars. I remember how joyous our parent’s laughs sounded together.
If there’s was something I could wish for, I would return to that day. I miss feeling the love you all had for each other. How can you grow up in a family of six, yet feel so lonely? Please become the family I’ve come to cherish and respect again. It won’t be the same as before, but I know there’s a chance of experiencing that happiness and laughter once more.
I’m hoping you and grandma live to share that experience with us too.