By Emily Chance
When I was little, my mother left my family and didn’t look back. I never understood why any mother would dare leave her husband and children for a random man she just met, and I honestly still don’t. However, over eight years later, I am living with my dad and stepmother, who I feel is my real mom. Or at least, more real than the first.
I’ve been in this little family going on about four years now and I still don’t exactly fit in. I get along with one of my stepbrothers and one of my stepsisters, and I finally had a bonding moment with my other stepsister and stepbrother, but there is still one person in the family who doesn’t accept me as family: my grandmother from my stepmom’s side.
While I understand a couple of years of forgetting or not being used to me being in the family, four years is a long time, but when my stepsister “Marie” talked to me, she said that she has been in the family for over half her life and Grandma still doesn’t recognize her as her grandchild; she is 27. Not only that, but her daughter, my five-year-old niece, Fay, has been in the family her whole life and Grandma doesn’t care or know or realize that we are those parts of the family.
Usually you could pawn it off as being paranoid and that she does consider us immediate family, except she drops huge hints, like, “Here are my grandkids! Douglas and Jo!” While Marie and I are standing right there. As well as, “Here is my great-grandkid! Lee!” While Fay just sits there and laughs, because she is not quite old enough to realize that her own great grandmother doesn’t recognize her, but soon she will be...
It’s times like this that I can accurately compare myself to Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. I have angry mood swings, everything I touch ends up falling apart or breaking, I’m accident-prone, and I had to find a family I fit in to. I want to be considered part of the family in my grandmother’s eyes, because it hurts to be rejected after four years.
Not being accepted by her is like being the last piece of a puzzle and fitting into only three of the surrounding pieces, but slighting overlapping the last. Because of not having a mom at an early age and then finally being mostly accepted into another family, I found out that just because you share blood, it doesn’t mean you’re family, however, just because you don’t share the same blood, it doesn’t mean you’re not family. I even have friends I could consider my siblings. I love them to death.
I guess I must accept that Grandma doesn’t consider me part of her grandchildren, but I know she loves me in her own weird way. So I guess that means “ohana” means family, and family means nobody gets left behind, but “ohana” doesn’t always mean blood.
Edited by London Koffler