How Important is Family?

Posted: July 19, 2010 in Blog, Blogging, Journal, Life, Misc, miscellaneous, Opinion, Personal, Random, Random Thoughts, Relationships, Thoughts, Writing

I remember the exact feeling I had twelve years ago when I heard my mother and three siblings were moving up north to Bemidji. I felt devastated because I knew I would not be seeing much of them in the future. I knew this because of the past experience I had with my older sister Traci, who moved up there a few years prior. I was very close with her, but after she moved we slowly drifted apart. I now only had my youngest brother Joshua, and oldest sister Melissa living in the cities with me.

I never had a relationship with Joshua, he was from my dad’s second marriage and his wife hated me. I believe in his nineteen years of existence I only saw him a handful of times. Although Melissa and I lived near each other, we were not very close. We lived completely different lifestyles so we had very little in common.

I was already distant from my father and older sister due to the distance, and was now missing out on my younger siblings grow up. I took these relationships for granted because I was so used to them living only fifteen minutes away; now except for two or three times a year the only form of contact was by telephone. I did not realize how much I missed having a relationship with my family until I got sober. It was then the brevity of the situation became clear to me.

I started to build resentment towards them, because they were no longer around. I looked at this just like most of my childhood memories, the people you love the most will always leave you. I felt abandoned. These feelings only festered more and more inside of me, until finally I told everyone in my family to get out of my life because I wanted nothing to do with them. This resentment also contributed to the wall I built against my wife’s extended family.

Over the years I have worked out many of these issues, but the damage was already done. I cannot say with certainty I know who my siblings truly are. I cannot say they even know who I am. I always got sad on holidays because I yearned for those childhood memories of everyone together.

I am still sad I do not talk with my younger siblings, and even more devastated I do not talk with my older sister Traci. I regret I do not talk with my mom as much as I would like, and my father is a religious fanatic so you can only imagine how heated our conversations can become. It is sad to think about how many things I have missed out on; things I will never get back. I played such a huge part in this because I shunned them all.

This all started to change over the last year. I have seen my mother, father, and other siblings more times in the last year than I have in the last four. We were all able to be together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can not remember the last time that has happened. I have finally after eleven years started to open up to my wife’s side of the family, opening up so many new doors of support.

I went to the Zac Brown Band concert with my oldest sister Melissa and her husband. This was the first time besides holidays I was able to hang out with her in over a decade, this bonding over great music thrusted us into a close relationship. She is the first person I call when something good happens to me, and the first I call when I am down. I know what is going on in her life just as she does mine. Melissa just recently came over to my house to sit, talk and jam to some tunes. It was a blast. It feels good to be really close with a family member.

The encouragement and support I receive from everyone has lifted me more than they will ever know. I have experienced life with extended family and a life without. I would not change how I feel today for anything in the world. I can never get back the eleven years I have wasted being hurt, stubborn, and the unwillingness to forgive. I do know I can use the next eleven years building a stronger relationship with my family.

I love you guys.

 What do you think…

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Comments
  1. Traci says:

    This literally brings tears to my eyes!! Many, many times I have sat and thought about “the old days” with you and I. We were, I thought, a team—just the two of us at times. I love you brother, I miss you!

  2. Nicole says:

    I think your ability to slowly stop believing you the victim has impacted your willingness to accept these people back in your life. For many years I would push seeing your family and you would express if they dont come see me i wont go see them- i would push for you to see and interact with my family and it was if they do not talk to me i wont talk to them, as if everyone was out to get you. Because you are learning that to receive you must give, this is especially true in human relationships… hence the relatiohships have started to bloom.
    WE had a blast at the ZBB concert with Melissa and Joel, it always feels nice to be close to family.
    Family is what you have in the end. I do not think anyone would regret the time,love, attention, and affection you give to your children, parents or siblings. I am thankful that you have finally created that connection with your family Timothy.

  3. dana says:

    thanks for sharing. family IS forever!

  4. Melissa says:

    Wow!! Tim…You have matured much over the last several years. Consider yourself blessed because some people waste a lifetime being hung up on resentments and never are able to foster or rebuild relationships. I love you so much and so do so many others….

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Sis,
      It amazes how you and Nicole are exactly alike. You guys are so in sync with beliefs and advice. I know she loves reading your work and responses. There are times you will give advice, and it is an ah ha moment. She then says “Hmmm isn’t that what I said?”

      Thanks. I have wasted so many years with resentment. I regret losing those years, I do know that through everything I have been through it has stayed consistent that I turn to you. You gave and gave, and I took and took. You cared about me, but I never took the time to listen to how your life was. I am so grateful for your time and sacrifice. I truly love and appreciate everything you have done, without asking anything in return.
      Love you
      and welcome to the community!

  5. johanna says:

    I think building relationships, new, healthy relationships with your extended family is a great thing. You will never regret it. Love is sometimes most difficult with those who are closest to us but love with out sacrifice is nothing. Sacrifice your own selfish fears, and your self doubt in order to love others without counting the cost. (hurt feelings, misunderstandings etc…) 🙂

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Johanna,
      It was hard, I did so much damage which I assisted in creating then pride took over. My life is in the greatest place as ever. I contribute this to reconnecting to my family and finding balance. I feel blessed for everything I have. Looking back on my life I do not know a time where I have felt this way.

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