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Letters to Nowhere

Sunday, September 03, 2006


For the record, I guess I wasn't expecting excitement or high drama from my family, regarding my forthcoming marriage. I did expect SOME strong emotion, however. Even if it was "YOU CAN'T DO THIS!!"

Anything but what we got. I know that you regular readers are probably thinking that we should be more pragmatic about the reaction of the important people in our lives. Even an assertive indifference shouldn't keep us from doing what we want, should we? It's about us, right?

For my part, the thing that has my hands shaking, and on the brink of a nervous breakdown, is the fact that I cannot have members of my family there. But let me first expand on why the timing is just about perfect for she and I to marry.

As many regular readers know, our burgeoning relationship started a couple of years ago, and during that time, we both have gone through some very trying circumstances. Red has had to deal with deaths in her family, particularly the untimely death of her beloved brother, John. This was a harrowing time, not just for her, but for her mother and siblings. The lost of a child or brother well before their time impacts everyone, and for life. And one never passes through the time of year when such a tragedy occurs without pausing to think long and hard about the one that's gone.

Of course, it's easy to think that they may remain forever young in your mind. It's easy to think of the memories you shared with them growing up. It's easy to think that all of them were good memories, too. The thing you miss is the chance to see them grow more, change and evolve more. John was well on his way to doing just that. He'd led a life, from what I've been told, at least, that had been fraught with stumbles and mis-starts. But two years ago, he'd made some fundamental changes, and had a real chance to start a new chapter in his life. It was a chance mistake, in my view, that was cause to rewrite the book of his life. I regret that I cannot meet this fine man; the conciliator, as Red puts it. John often placed himself between people who fought, striving to calm a tense situation. This is a quality we do not find often in this world. I guess God needed him somewhere else.

In any event, his passing occurred around the time Red and I want to marry. The timing is ideal, because a week previous to her brother's death, her grandfather passes away as well. There are other personal hardships that have happened to Red and her family. These are too numerous, and too personal, to mention. But October seems to be a banner month for them. To have a joyous event happen would be a blessing, and perhaps quell the ghost that drifts throught this autumn time.

In the old Japanese calender, October is called Kan'na dzuki, meaning the absence of god. I think a marriage between Red and me would weigh it on the OTHER side of the scales. We, neither of us, have a great deal of personal faith anymore, except in a general sense. But, a wedding would be a way to chase off the restless spirit that dwells in this so-called 'godless' month.

The more important reason is Love. Of course!

Red and I have talked long and deeply about our future life together. How to raise her son. The future schooling she'd like to take. How we will live. The places we'd like to travel to. The involvement we will have with my daughter. My ongoing, sometimes thorny, but ultimately loving relationship with my family. And hers!! Learning how to communicate without having to speak, or fill a void in the conversation if there is a lull, since we mostly talk on the phone. Marriage is the natural step for a deep friendship that has developed and evolved over a period of two years. Four, really, if you count the time we've known each other. The thing is, neither of our families seem to take it seriously enough to get really excited about it. Which I find curious. Of course, I am loath to talk to my family about it, because they seem to think that this might just be another gesture for me, in the direction of being married. On the other hand, perhaps I don't talk about it enough to them, too. As the youngest, I was not always taken seriously, and at the age of forty-two, perhaps I should be resigned to that.

However, it boths me that I cannot have some representation at the wedding. Despite their decided lack of reaction, I WAS hoping to have the kind of wedding that included my family. At the base of it, I guess it's the same reasons as Red's. The fact that my family seems to only gather during times of crisis. The first joyous gathering we've had in a long time was at my mother's 80th birthday this past July. Previous to that, we mainly gather at funerals. Or gather around a hospital bed while my father clings tenuously to life, or misses passing on by a hair's breadth, due to an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Or look meaningfully at each other when we discuss our mutual health, or my mother's cancer. It'd be good to go somewhere and celebrate something other then ''Well, he's gonna live!''

Of course, the other reason I wanted family there is because I wanted family there. A wedding that DIDN'T include my family would seem sort of lacking from my standpoint. I have a rather unusual bunch of relatives. My mother and father were a focal point for any cousins, or any of my siblings friends, that wanted to go somewhere safe. Many was the morning that my mother would get up and see some strange teenager leaning into the refridgerator, looking for milk for their cereal. My one sister has developed a circle of friends over the years that have become members of our extended family. Just happened. No explanations, no questions, just happened. The reason being is that Dad is strong and silent and had a habit of getting things done in the old-school manly way. My mother has always been conciliatory, and a good listener, and quick to give advice and support.
And this has continued for me, right up to today. Mom and Dad, my sister, my other siblings, all were there to support me financially and, to some extent, emotionally, during the time since I left my first wife. And especially supportive during my attendance of college. And moving up to Yellowknife, where I am currently flaunting my work time writing this. So, it's a hard thing to consider not having them at my wedding.

Just for the record, Red, I STILL want to marry you. At the base of it, it IS about us, and we will figure something out. Ha, I just don't know what, exactly. Or how I'll reconcil my feelings on this issue. Perhaps the regular readers have suggestions. Wait, is this why we write here?

I love you.


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