I have to say something about my aunt, because she's truly an amazing person. The beautiful irony of it all, and I cannot adequately convey this to you in words, is that for all the time that I was growing up, she was the unending recipient of everyone's (the adults, that is) wrath. My parents were intolerably cruel to her, so much so that I completely understand if she hates our side of the family, which I believe she does, though everyone denies this. And my uncle treated her terribly, which I'm guessing was rooted in his complete lack of respect for her.
With this in mind, how did everyone fare? My father was a bitter, lonely and angry man with no friends, no direction in life, and complete dissatisfaction which stemmed from blaming everyone for all his problems. He had two sons who couldn't relate to him and were too selfish to make enough effort to bridge the chasm between them (i.e., my brother and I), and angry wife who was eternally disappointed in him, and a unrealized life that stemmed from the misguided belief that a real man only pursued certain things.
I didn't know my uncle that well, so I can't say, but I do think he had some issues with dissatisfaction and loneliness, and out of respect to my cousins, I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say there were some things going on that were clearly rooted in dissatisfaction.
As for my mom, well don't get me started.
In the end, my aunt, whom everyone was disparaging of, ended up with the greatest gift of all-a family, with three great kids who love her and are there for her. Even before my uncle bailed out on her, she raised three kids on her own, and when he left, she had to go from being a housewife to getting a job (she successfully opened her own business), all the while raising three feisty, independent, and strong willed children.
Don't get me wrong, she's not a perfect person, nobody is, but what a fantastic job she's done, in my eyes, of not only holding together her family, but raising them to be these fabulous people. I bow my head in awe of her.
Until the next time, thanks for reading.