Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. — Tolstoy
The family: Comes with no written, stated or implied guarantee. Oh, but I wish there was. I wish it did. I struggle to say that I think there should be. I am more at ease to say that I am wrong.
I think the best we can do is promise to try and do better. We can promise to love without condition, forgive without grudge and choose to always, always see the best. At least see those for who they are, rather than who we want them to be.
The family: these people who are part of us, who made us, who shape us, who damage us and lift us up. These are the expectations placed upon a unit who have been placed together by luck and biology. Or some divine plan. For some, the luck was bad, the biology formed funny, the plan was flawed. Or it wasn’t. Maybe it was only meant for a while. Maybe the plan was to teach, to [hopefully] learn, to prepare for the next.
The family: Those who will share something – cells, memories, trials, tragedy, love, meaning, hope, pain – with us forever. Our stories are all different. Certainly our unhappy ones are.
My family: Built on a competition we were never going to win. I don’t know who decided upon the rules, but I remember playing.
My family: Torn apart by anger and immaturity, pride and a change come too soon.
My family: Marked now by loss and gaps of time that bring forgetting and remembering and moving on.
My family: Came with love but without a guarantee of receipt without condition. Came with a best before date, a warning of expiry.
It was me who left. It was me who could not stay. It is me who is now lost. In reality, I am not. In metaphor, there are betters to choose. In reality I am here, existing with my past and my experiences and my future. If you say that I am lost, that you have lost me – like a ship at sea? like a missing sock? like a misplaced object from such a time ago? We are not lost. We are trees. separated by a chasm too wide for our branches to reach. We are books that once shared characters, but whose stories have ended. We are windows that have been forced shut by time and weather and paint in neighbouring houses, without people who have the ability to pry them open again.
Here’s more on the Creative Writing Challenge