I Smile Through The Tears

For most people, at least I hope so, life is full of the love of family. Holidays are a special time. The family gathers to enjoy a holiday feast, but most importantly, they gather to share their love for one another.

That is most families. I, unfortunately, don’t know how that feels.

I used to. Before my dad died, family holidays were the best! Actually, we didn’t just get together for holidays. We got together all the time.

I was blessed to have two grandmas growing up and a grandpa. My grandpa Sundquist died when I was 3, so I don’t have many memories of him.

I also was lucky enough to have the extended family! Many aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles. My great Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Leroy were more like grandparents to me than a great aunt and uncle.

Time passes People pass away. Family dynamics change.

Let’s fast forward to 1999. Dad died from an accident at work. We had to take him off of life support. I won’t go into details about that. Most people would understand how awful that would be.

I remember telling the love of my life, my husband Jeff, how I knew if Dad died before Mom, it wouldn’t be long, and I would be out of the family. I don’t know if it was just a feeling I had, or knowing how I was treated differently by mom.

I feared her all of my life. I still do. Nothing I ever did was right. She ridiculed my laugh. She actually told me to just shut up. Who says that? I know my laugh is loud. How do I change my laugh? I have laughed this way all of my life! I was born with my laugh. Her comments cut me to the core.

Three years ago in July, the family was to gather at Fremont Lakes for a sort of get together. This was a get together my sister Angie had been in charge of for a few years. Jeff and I had planned on going, as we usually did when it was his weekend off of work. Angie tried to plan it so all of us could go. But, later that morning, Jeff told me he didn’t want to go. He was just exhausted after a long week of work. He only gets every other weekend off, so being tired was understandable. So, we didn’t go.

I really didn’t think it was a big deal. Until later in the day when my sister Angie texted me calling me many names I won’t repeat.

Since then, I have been deleted from the family. So has my daughter Whitney.

She didn’t go because she was visiting her brother-in-law in the hospital.

I have reached out to my mother and my siblings only to be ignored or to have horrible things said to me that are not close to true. How can someone that has known me all of my life say such things? How can my own mother say the horrendous things she said to me that day? I had her on speaker phone so Jeff heard her. He was shocked. I just can’t repeat it. What she said is so beyond my realm of understanding. She had texted me months prior telling me that she was going to call Jeff and tell him he better straighten me out! What??? I do know how much Angie loathes me. She has all of her life. I tolerated her behavior because I wanted to get along. She took advantage of me and yes, I let her. I am beyond appalled at how this all turned out.

Maybe I shouldn’t share this. But, I am going to. If my dad was here, this would not be happening. I was his “sis.” He was always my good parent. He read to me when I was little. He was always there for me. He was the best dad ever. He would be ashamed at how the family that he loved and was so proud of, turned out.

At the end of the day, I have so much to be thankful for. Whitney and I have gotten so much closer. Her and her husband Tri, and the kids, Penelope and Rowen mean the world to me. And another one is on the way! We spend our holidays and so many other days together. I love them more than I can say.

Each and every night, when I close my eyes to go to sleep, I pray to my dad. I know he is looking out for me. I know I have his love each and every day. He gave me life, but more than that, he gave me all of his love. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.


About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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