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  • Writer's picturemia jett

Lost for Twenty Two Years

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Growing up despite everything that happened in my life and the life of those around me, my family on both my mom's and my dad's side were very close. My mom had one sister and two brothers so it wasn't nearly as big as my dad's side, he was the youngest of three boys and three girls, I was very blessed having a family as big as mine. We all gathered together for holidays and even would plan celebrating each holiday at different times so that all of us could celebrate with both sides of our families.

My paternal grandmother passed away a year before my dad, and as I am sure it is the same in many families we didn't get together anymore for holidays like we once did. It instead became a yearly family reunion. When I lost my dad in 2001, I got into a very dark place in my mind. I did not reach out to any of my dad's brothers or sisters or any of my cousins, I had this voice in my head that made me believe that my brother and I were on our own as far as my dad's family was concerned. I always felt kind of like my dad was the black sheep of the family so my brother and I were just looked at as a couple of kids that our family gave up on that would never really amount to much.

Through the years though I found that my brother has actually somewhat stayed in contact with them and usually makes the yearly family reunion. I even became estranged from my brother though because of my addiction and other things. Of course when Facebook started I then had a way to not necessarily talk to anyone but I was able to follow and learn things about things going on with my family through posts and pictures.

Now that I am not only sober, but I am back living near family, my brother stopped and picked me up to go to the family reunion this year. It was three days ago and I have to admit I am still overwhelmed with emotions. I have found myself tearing up atleast twice everyday since. Not many of us cousins made it this year, but boy was it wonderful to see the family I grew up with. The cousins I used to play with and spent the best times of my life with. As the days got closer to the reunion this year I started really thinking about when was the last time that I saw everyone. It had been twenty-two years. Since my dad's funeral. Spending time with my family I can't get over how much I missed. The last time I seen my Aunts and Uncles, they were the ages of some of my cousins now. It hurts when I think about how much I have truly missed every single one of them.

It truly was the best times of my life spent with all of them. So many memories, and I wish I would have stayed close because I really wish my kids would have been close to their kids so that when we are all gone they will stay connected and keep it going down the line. I hate that I missed out on so much time. I was lost though, I was lost in drug addiction, homelessness and struggling with my mental health. Twenty-two years, I was lost.........

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