It hurts to be unfriended by a family member. But then again, family isn’t by choice. Family is an accident that sometimes works out ok. If he had cared about my feelings he would have just “hidden” me. But he has proven over a decade that he doesn’t care about my feelings at all.
It isn’t as if we had been arguing. I can only suspect that my posts were a little more frequent than he liked. They certainly were more religious than he likes. I can only guess. It isn’t safe to guess what other people’s motives are, I know. In the absence of communication, imagination sneaks in, however.
When I was in England after the death of my Mom, I learned something sitting on the cliffside in Tintagel. It came to me, unbidden, that family has nothing to do with blood.
Sitting on that cliff, on that bright April day, I was surrounded by tiny wildflowers. I was warmed by the gentle sun. I smelled the sea air and heard the crash of the waves below. I was alone. My aunt had wandered off in the ruins, purported to be King Arthur’s castle. The other tourists were away. In that moment the reason for my journey came to me. In that moment of silence the answer to a question I had not asked came.
I wanted to stay there, forever, soaking up that knowledge. When you get that connection, you want to keep it. But sometimes the connection is just a brief kiss on the head, just a handshake from God. Sometimes God just slips you a note, folded up, pressed into your hand, as you are passing in the hall between classes.
We owe nothing to family just because of their blood relationship. We owe nothing to people who say they are friends and don’t prove it by their actions. They may be friendly enough, but if they don’t make time to be with you, then they aren’t really friends. They may be there only when you are happy, but leave when you are sad. They may ignore your birthday. They may forget that you are allergic to certain foods and always serve them. Holidays can be especially difficult because of their actions, or inactions.
Ties between people are bridges that both have to build. If you are doing all the work, walk away.