If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton,
you may as well make it dance.
~George Bernard Shaw
Every family had a closet somewhere filled with skeletons, right? Those things that everyone knows, but no one talks about. Past mistakes, bad choices, lies that had been told in a moment and then carried on throughout the years. Each skeleton representing something, someone doesn't want to come out. Years can go by and one never thinks about them, brief memories may flash inside their minds and they shudder thinking about what would happen should one of the skeletons get loose. Life goes on, it spins away from that point in time when a decision was made to hide a truth, and before one knows it, that lie or bad decision has become the very foundation of which the family has been built upon. Over the years, skeletons may get added to that closet, things families just don't talk about, things that no one wants to see the light of day. Things that could damage or destroy the very fabric of a family. If no one talks about it, it never happened. Normally it is something so far in the past, the children of the family know nothing about it, the elders forget and life goes on. But there is something to these skeletons,something in the closet that makes them very restless. As the old saying goes, the truth has a habit of coming out, usually when you least expect it.
What gets to me is the ripple effect of one of these skeletons. One lie begets another and then another is needed to cover the first two, and now after a few years, the skeleton gets buried further back in the closet and new ones are piled on top. Until that point in the future when the restlessness gets to the skeleton, or someone slips or discovers something, and all the family can do it watch that damn skeleton come dancing right out of the closet. Because it is what happens in that moment, that defines the future of the family. Some will continue to tell stories, some will anger, some will feel ashamed. Some can have the foundations of their lives crack and destroyed as they realize that everything they ever held true, was in fact, not even close. Where do you go from there?
When I was 21 my mother informed me that the man I thought was my father, was in fact, not. At the time, she claimed she had no idea who my father was, and that was all she would say on the matter. It was kind of a "Hey, here's what I did, and now you know and nope, don't want to talk about it any more". As much as I tried to get my feet back underneath me, I was rocked. Who wouldn't be right? All of a sudden a skeleton that had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her, had now become my skeleton to deal with. She felt resolved, she felt better, so I inherited it. Lovely. It took over 10 years for her to give me any further information, but finally, a name. Took me about 15 minutes on the internet and I found him, pictures of him and frankly there was no doubt, he was my father. The resemblance was amazing. He also lived 20 minutes away from me, for my entire life. Needless to say, I reached out, we made contact and holy hell, guess what, not only did I now have the answers I needed, I also all of of a sudden had 5 brothers and sisters. Talk about a skeleton, this one came out, dancing, singing and in my face. Thing is though, I am not a fan of skeletons, not a fan of white lies people tell each other. Families should be based on truths, the good, the bad and the ugly. That is what makes family. If at any point in time, something occurred, that one does not feel sheds the most flattering light upon them, then take control of the situation at the time it happens and then do something about it, right then. Don't wait 30 years for something to come out and let those most effected by the mistake pick up the pieces.
I have met a couple of my father's kids, I met a sister yesterday. It was pretty amazing, to meet a complete stranger who oddly enough, is so much like you its scary. It is definitely a new adventure, and nice to know that every once and a while,something good can come from one of these dancing skeletons.
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