Nineteen eighty-three was a good year. A great year, actually, because two of the most wonderful people were born that year — my twin nephews. They spent the first few years of their lives living with my family and I loved them like they were my own. My little tow-headed elves. I spent my summers babysitting the twins and it was an honor to help raise them.
When the boys were three and I was seventeen, we moved away from them and at the time I thought it was the most painful thing I would ever experience. We lived in different states for many years, visiting when we were able, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that our family all congregated in Ohio. It was great to be back together again, although I was a young widow with a daughter of my own.
It was a great time — everyone together. I was able to spend a lot of time with the twins and take them places like the Galleria in Cleveland and road trips in my Porsche 944. They would come over for sleepovers and I’d cook for them — I remember introducing them to shoepeg corn and they thought they were in heaven. Summers were full of tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches — another family delicacy they loved to share with me.
I’ve never liked cartoons — even as a child — but I spent Saturday mornings watching X-men cartoons with the twins. It wasn’t the cartoons I enjoyed, but the time with them and their excitement over the superheroes. We had our silly jokes and lots and lots of hugs. They were completely in love with my baby daughter, Melody, and watched over her like she was their sister.
We were separated again when I was married to my abuser and that caused a rift we’ve never been able to relinquish. We lost that bond — the closeness — and weren’t able to get it back. They are grown now and live in different states. We don’t talk, I don’t even know their phone numbers. It grieves me, but I know I can’t force a relationship. So I keep them in my prayers, comment occasionally on their Facebook statuses, and trust that God knows best.
I hope someday they’ll come sit on my porch and eat tomato sandwiches again with Auntie.