We all know each and every family is different, but most still have a general idea as to what a family is.
Family is a concept I have been grappling with for years — what does a family do together, how are good memories made and why can’t mine be like that?
Granted, family is family regardless of what they do together, but there has always been this underlying goal to behave like a family — whatever that is.
As a child I felt visits to my grandparents were always odd.
My grandparents lived in a one bedroom house, in the center of which we would all convene.
My grandma always would be sitting in her chair — yes, HER chair.
My grandpa smoked constantly, as one would breathe air.
I would either sit on my grandma’s lap or sit directly in front of the TV watching a recorded cartoon on VHS tape over and over. I can’t forget those cartoons — Yogi Bear and his pic-en-ic basket and the “Playful Pan,” a Disney Silly Symphony.
I would be served microwaved eggs with sugar and ketchup or a TV dinner — that’s grandpa’s cookin’!
The discussions my family would have around the table were often as questionable as the eggs.
I would fall asleep on a pad on the floor and listen to my grandpa’s raspy voice while the adults played cards.
My mom and aunt were adamant on making sure we pretended to act like a family. Yes, pretend. They would tell us to not make fun of grandpa’s cooking, don’t talk about this and that — no music, no fingernail polish, no fighting.
I would be fine with this if it just stayed at grandma and grandpa’s house, but unfortunately we all lived the same lie at home.
We have held the mask up for many years and I have recently began to peel mine off. This has consequences of course, now everyone is on edge when they see me — what is she going to say this time that I don’t want to hear.
At the end of the day, I still love my family and I hope you can love yours too.
Be honest with yourself and your family, but also understand honesty does not mean people will change.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.