I don’t even know where to start when writing this piece. My mind is dazed. Why do family and relatives have to be the most difficult people to deal with? Must someone always want to help the other one hand with conditions and the other hidden behind the back holding a knife waiting to stab you once you turn around?
A few years ago, I thought that being with family was the best and most fulfilling aspect of one’s life. When there were gatherings and that funny grandmother was expected, or that grandfather who always rode on a bicycle carrying a bag full of fruits and that creepy uncle who made you want to freak out anytime you bumped into each other. All the odds aside, these moments always ended up being the best for a long time. They were occasional but gratifying.
Now, I have a different view of the whole kinfolk’s thing. I believe that friends are more loyal than family. It is honest to spend time with your friends and go home in the evening feeling contented knowing that you have someone you can count on. Family on the other hand, are almost always up to something. They will never pop up at your door step just like that. It will end up being a scratch my back like I scratched yours last time situation. How do you explain a scenario where siblings born by the same woman conflicting on who is going to tend to their mother? Are you senseless or something? What has this world come to? A mother is supposed to be everyone’s rare gem, an irreplaceable gift from God himself. How then do you not take care of her?
There is too much indifference in families. Everyone simply wants to mind their business in good times. They will not want ‘interference” from other people who are not members of that nuclear family apart from maybe the Godparents who are an expectations, and that is if they do really exist. But wait until somebody dies or gets hospitalized. Even the Hams of that extended family becomes an ‘Angel”, a sweetheart to all.
“It has been so long. It is sad that we cannot visit each other often. You know the work and the children. Life is getting so hectic, there are bills everywhere and blah” says whoever that has the problem. Sometimes they are not even courteous enough to give a fake apology, they will just bombard you with their problems and expect you to break your backbone as you run about to seek help for them. Then you help them because as the old adage goes ‘Blood is thicker than water’ with fingers crossed that after that situation life will be go back again and family reunions can be the trend. Woe unto you when Christmas is back to their houses, you get cast off to your usual place, a non-entity.
And then there is that newspaper who will always have current updates about everyone. Who bought a new car, whose child did not make it to campus, who has a terrible woman for a wife – the kettle calling the pot black? Why do people care so much about what happens in other people’s houses? Can’t you keep your curiosity to yourself? Are you perusing people’s lives to get an admission to Harvard or what? I mean that is the only reason I would mind another person’s business if I was getting a ticket to a place of my dreams.
I never stop to wonder what was wrong when the Band Bowling for Soup sang the song “High school never ends”. They expected that after high school they would find mature and real people than the superficial ones that they were used to.
Unfortunately, life was just the same. The only thing that mattered was climbing up that social ladder and there are no right friends. Nothing changes but the faces, the names and the trends.I wish everyone really understood the meaning of family. Be there for one another and look out for each other. Stop with the Jealousy and celebrate each other’s achievements. If someone is in trouble, offer a helping hand and comfort them. Do not bad mouth anyone about how “Ooh, were it not for me they would have perished a long time ago” Are you God? His Disciples or who are you? Jesus? It is sickening to learn that you are better placed to have true and loyal people as friends and not family.