I refuse to accept that wishing for a close-knitted family ties,is a fantasy!It can happen because it does still happen.
I have lost contact with five of my siblings for about three years now,or more.But that's nothing one can brag about.It wasn't pre-planned nor was it deliberate.The fact that I didn't get the chance to grow up with my siblings has always put a strain on our relationship.growing up in different environments with one background polished while the other isn't;has its impacts as well.
Let me start from the basics.Ten years back,I wouldn't speak of my family the way am going to now.The reason is not farfetched-I'm a product of a'broken home'.In my own generation,I happen to be the only product of that misfortune.My father's the second of three surviving sons from my paternal grandmother....Before the demise of his older brother twenty-five years ago.Today,my father and his younger brother are the last and only surviving of my grandmother's.I am also the one with a 'complicated' birth history.My father's the only one who got married to women outside our tribe and nationality.My mother's roots are from Chad and Cameroun and not Nigeria.Having said that,I must mention that my late Uncle had six children all of whom are grown up now.My 'living' uncle has four girls.You can see that's not so difficult to state...The six chidlren from the late brother are a combination of four girls and two boys.
I,on the contrary do not have anything "straight" about my siblings.My mother was married once before she got married to my father.She had three children from that marriage-a set of twins (male&female) and a boy.
From my father's marriage,I happen to be the only product of that short-lived union.So both got re-married.
My mother again,had another set of twins (she's really blessed,huh!) for another man.My father,again defied all odds and went ahead to marry another'non-Nigerian'....My step-mom's a Ghanaian.The woman bore him six kids.A combination of one boy who is the first child and five girls.So you can see how I happen to be in the middle of it all.Am different,very different and I prefer to use the word "unique" rather than anything else!I am grateful to God for that.
However different I am,this situation has had tremendous emotional and psychological effect on my well-being especially as a child.While growing up,I always felt left-out,thought I was unwanted and neglected,sought attention and affection in the wrong places,missed out on any parental love and didn't have a relationship with any of my siblings.But somehow,I had a sense of well-being almost impossible for someone with my background,and that really helped a lot as an adult.It took a while to accept reality before I was married that,I may not have the privilege of reuniting with my siblings both from my father and mother's sides.The more I think about how I've been unable to make an impact on my younger one's lives,the more I wish things had turned out differently.
As I write,five of my siblings from my step-mother are in Ghana.And I haven't heard from them in the last two years.Every effort to reach them through phone call has been futile.What gives me consolation's the fact that,my cousins back home have heard from my brother on a few occasions.There's always a part of me that just wants us to be together,or at least within reach so I could be of moral support.I have always feared for misguidance because of the challenges they've had to face too.
My brother's very brilliant,yet he's wasting his life away driving truck for some selfish uncle...at least,so I was told.He should have been in school and should have graduated by now.That wish seem to be evasive because I do not think he'd be going back to school anytime soon.My uncle tried to help out a few years ago,but it didn't happen....
Why all these ramblings?I've been thinking about 'families' in general of late.I always do that actually.I do it often because when you spend time alone,you get to reflect on many things.And I hurt,I always hurt because I have missed out on many things and I kind of wish my kids would have the opportunity to know my brothers and sisters,their maternal grandparents,aunts and uncles,and not just from their father's side or my cousins alone.But hey!Reality check,it may not happen and I've just got to accept it may not.It would make things a lot easier to bear...