Family – who’d have them?

Every family argues …. right?

I come from a relatively big family on my mum’s side (she’s one of 13…), and a stark contrast on my dad’s (he’s one of 2). I have 8 aunties and 4 uncles. I should say I do actually have 9 aunties but one is permanently absent.

I had a great childhood, and having a big family on one side meant that I had loads of cousins who were my age, and who subsequently are some of my best friends and my brother and I were always surrounded by a huge amount of love.

On the other side, my brother and I were the only grandchildren. To say we were spoiled is an understatement. We lived in West London and so were close to my dad’s side seeing my Nan and Granddad on different weekends, but always managing to a lot of quality spend time with them and as a result very close to the both of them.

When you’re a child you very rarely see the bad in anyone, but that changes when you become an adult. Sometimes through what you’ve been told happened when you were a child, and sometimes because of what you saw then but didn’t understand.

My auntie who is permanently absent is somewhat not absent. She’s always there – whether it’s conversations or small digs someone makes. Me and my brother haven’t had anything to do with her since I was about 16 and him 14. On my 16th birthday i sent back the large amount of money she sent me in a card because my Nan would have wanted me to have it – well my Nan died when I was 13 and I idolised her and she wasn’t going to make the cut. I was angry she would even think she could come close. Yes, she was my auntie, but she wasn’t her. Her and my dad had a strained relationship for a long time before, but since my Nan died – there was no real relationship. Unfortunately – she’s one of those people who is impossible.

Then when I was 18 my granddad fell really ill and spent his final days in a really lovely hospice which happened to be near on opposite where she lived, and out of my naivety I said to my dad we should tell her to come and say her goodbyes. To say she was vile that night is an understatement and it’s something I will never forgive her for.

I have seen her since, and she’s walked past me in the supermarket. I have friends who see her in Kent where we used to have a chalet, and I hear of the awful way she treats my great aunties (who bless them, have done nothing at all!). My brother and I are adults now, and if we don’t want to see her, or have a relationship with her I think that’s our choice.

I really hope she reads this post. Not to be harsh or nasty – but to show her that we’re not ungrateful or any other term she’s labelled us, but because we’re grown adults and she hurt the people we love and we’re entitled to our own opinion. We don’t need her in our adult life, and if I am honest I am not sure she’ll ever be part of our lives again!

And that’s the way families go right? We all have our nuances and the people we do and don’t talk to. One thing for sure is I am incredibly loyal and I love my family to bits. I’d do anything for them. My mum and dad are everything to me and have given me and my brother the world and more. Our Nan and Granddad were our idols and we had the best childhood growing up. I guess the only thing I’d change is that we saw my mum’s parents more – as I have hardly any memories of spending time with them.

Moral of the story – family are incredible. Treasure who you have and love them with every bit of you – no-one is here forever.


Tilly x


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