My childhood was filled with family and love. I felt safe, supported, and welcomed. But, over the last 16 years, I’ve been slowly losing all of them. Half have died: my Grampa, brother, mom, Gramma. Half didn’t care as much about keeping in touch as I did. They wouldn’t return phone calls or messages and wouldn’t be around when I visited Gramma. They still managed to see each other, even driving past where I lived to get to each other. My Gramma’s memorial was scheduled for when I couldn’t come.

Eventually I gave up trying and focused on what I have now: my dad, Jeremy, and the potential of becoming more involved with his family. One of my aunts got back in touch when I found out I was pregnant and calls about once a month to check on me. I was doing good.

But then I found out on Facebook that my great aunt is in hospice. All my life she was like I am now. Everyone made fun of her, didn’t want to spend time with her, and felt like doing things for her was an obligation. They just had to deal with her because she lived right next door and couldn’t do everything herself anymore. If they could have, I think they would have cut her off like they did me.

I haven’t been able to talk to her for a few years. The last time I visited Gramma, when she was in the hospital, I went to see Aunt Sadie and discovered her house was empty. They brushed it aside, told me she was in a nursing home, and wouldn’t tell me where. She’s 97 now and I knew that this was coming. My negativity got the best of me and I would check the obituaries every so often for her name, fearing I’d never be told.

Well, she’s in hospice now and I know what that means. They didn’t call me or message me. I found out via a post on Facebook that I couldn’t even manage to respond to because I knew that I would say how I really felt and that would end up hurting me more than it would do any good.

I feel like all of the strong roots that grew me and made me strong have been slowly pulled out over the years. I feel like this was the last one.

Jeremy held me, put his hand on my stomach, and told me that we’re growing new roots. And I know that is true. The future will get better, will grow, and I’ll be good. But right now this is what I’m feeling. This is my hurt.

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