“There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Yesterday I found out via FB that the youngest brother of my late mother died. Away from the family in a foreign part of the country. He was just two years older than me and as old as my sister Maricor whom I’ve never seen since I was 15 years old. She ran away and never came back.
I’ve met my uncle only on three occasions but those meetings had a huge impact not only on both of our personal lives (though I did not realize it then) but on the lives of all people concerned. I will cite misunderstanding as the main reason for the drama. Misunderstanding from all sides and the mistake never been rectified. Partly because I never have the urge to depend. He never (as far as I remember) find it necessary to either admit or deny,. Largely because we I guess both know that nobody will believe. So, the myth still lives and will be a continue reminder to future generation never to walk the same path.
The first time I’ve met him was at the funeral of my grandfather. I was seven years old, he was nine. We travel far to attend the occasion. We lived in the middle of nowhere remember? And my father will never be good enough to the eyes of my maternal relatives. Too poor and too uneducated to be fully accepted.
I don’t remember much about that time. All I can recall was the saw dust that covered almost everything on sight.
The second time we met, I was already in junior high school and studying in the capital while working as a house sitter to pay my tuition. He used to visit me and put me on the front of his bike and we drove around in the rain while he was singing Nothing Gonna Change My Love For You by Glen Medeiros. I enjoyed his company. He was sweet to me. He said my mother was his favorite sister therefore I was his favorite niece.
I did not know when and where the rumor start but it happened, and I did not understand how and why. I still don’t.
Okay, I was the only one who could make him tear apart from the gambling table. I did not even have to do or say anything, my presence was enough. He skipped work just to be with me and only going to wake up if I was the one who woke him up. He bought me coke and hamburger whenever he came home late from work and watched me ate them. He guarded the door of the public toilet in their block so I can take a bath safely he said. They say he was a drunkard but I never seen him drunk. Likewise with drugs. If he was a user, I never seen an indication of it. To me, he was just a pleasant person. Easy to get along with. Friendly and cool.
He avoided being in the same room/house with me alone. He said it gets warm when I’m around. He told me he will tell me something important one day. He refused to elaborate. He said it was not the time nor the place.
That his mother threw us out in the middle of the night I don’t understand. We came home from strolling around the neighborhood and the next thing I knew our clothes were flying everywhere. My uncle while picking up the mess said to his mother and everyone that nowhere in the bible stated that it is a sin to fall in love with a family member. In fact, he said, if those holy men didn’t sleep with their mothers, daughters and sisters, we will not be here at all. I failed to grasp the meaning of what he said that time. I was too young and too naïve. And____
For the record, my uncle never touch me maliciously or indicate something of that kind. He never show or hint anything untoward to my person. Never. That’s why I can’t understand why years later, I was already married and living abroad, he was working overseas, he sent me letters after letters, professing his undying love for me. On one occasion, he even tried to convince me to elope with him somewhere nobody knows us. I declined. I told him I don’t feel that way for him and besides, we carry the same family name.
He never married.
The last time I saw him was when I was processing my papers to join my then husband here in Europe. He helped me to queue for the necessary papers. We said goodbye at the airport and I never laid eyes on him again.
Now he is dead and the truth died with him. So be it.