A Vaughn from Afar

Or, the family that let itself off the hook. 

I took this picture two years ago today.
Moths/butterflies are always huge symbols of transformation for me, so I felt the significance of this that morning as I left for work.  
The next day I got the call that grandfather was near death, and he passed the next evening. 
I also realized that this was as much about my personal transformation as the result of his death as it was about his transitioning process. After all, my symbols usually turn out to be the lessons that I am to learn. I continue to learn lessons such as these. 
Suffice it to say, my grandfather’s passing dissolved what I’d call some “uneasy” alliances and renegotiated some familial contracts between myself and my father’s family.   
It was freeing to know that some obligations were apparently satisfied, and it allowed me to focus my efforts in ways that have brought me more joy.  
What I discovered was something I had long suspected, something I began to see when my father passed.  
Without the solidifying energy of my grandfather, there was scarcely a connection at all. Today, I can affirm that family ties are often weak. A genetic imprint alone doesn’t signify everything I was taught it was from a young age, that family sticks together. I suppose I knew this intellectually. But at the level of the heart…nah. Not so much.  
I understand my dad’s immediate family. I see where we are similar in so many ways. They are, at the very least, a crafty bunch. And they know how to leverage resources to get a thing done. They are intrigued by intrigue and are excited by a back-room deal.  
And I don’t hate them. Certainly not. I am able to say now that I don’t feel the loss because I can’t remember a time in decades where I felt much of a presence.  
Sometimes, obligations and conveniences are passed off as love when they are in fact just that–obligations and conveniences.   
And people going through life as though they were automatons. 
I wish them well. Perhaps one day we can all gather round and have an honest and meaningful relationship.  
In the meantime, I will be a Vaughn from afar.  
Peace to all.

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