Family Tree’s…they are full of people we are proud of…people we’ve never met….people we want to be like…people we’re proud to call family…and people we want to CHOP OUT OF THE FAMILY TREE!  We all have that one relative that has either disowned themselves from the family or we want to forget shares the same DNA as we do.  But what can you do?  What can I do???  Write about them in my blog….THAT’S WHAT!!!

I won’t mention this one relative by name…I’m sure all my cousins will know exactly who I’m talking about, even before I describe her.  She has caused me a lot of grief over the years without even speaking to me.  Do I hold a grudge???  ABSOLUTELY!  You can do almost anything to me and I’ll probably forgive you.  But hurt my family and I’m the elephant that never forgets.

To call this woman my “aunt” would be an insult to my other aunts…The one’s who’s memories I cherish every day.  So for the purpose of this blog I will refer to her simply as “Frenchie”.

“Frenchie”, at one time, was one of my favorite relatives.  She gave funny, sometimes almost bizarre gifts.  I remember getting a stapler from her for Christmas one year…it had eyes on it and resembled an alligator.  What 7 year old wouldn’t love that as a gift.  There was also the smiley face bank (before the internet made smiley faces popular).  And there were many others.  I think what I cherished the most was when I was 14 years old…not old enough to drive, but still wanting my freedom.  “Frenchie” was newly divorced and needing attention.  What better person to tag with than your 14 year old niece.  We went everywhere together…to the movies, out for a Saturday lunch…and best of all, TO THE MALL!!!!  But…after a few weeks her phone calls came less and less and I finally realized I was being used.  She didn’t want to hang out with me…she needed a co-pilot.  She wasn’t used to driving and needed someone to help her navigate the roads.  Yep…Thanks a lot “Frenchie”.  And that was just the beginning.

So how do you (or I) handle this person in the family tree?  The same way that the police handle crazed, emotional women in the movies…”Just the facts, ma’am!”.  No matter what I would like to put in the family genealogy about this one person, I won’t.  I’m not going to embellish or even glamorize this individual.  She is biologically family even though she disowned herself from my dad in 1990…and because of the DNA tie, she will be included….Name…rank…and serial number…that’s all she gets!  She deserves nothing more.

I hope someday that she gets to read this blog so she knows that I didn’t take a chainsaw to her branch of the family tree….no matter how much I want to.  To leave her out would not be fair to the others in my tree…those that want an accurate picture of our family. So for my daughter and my “little cousins”, that may not have an interest in this weird stuff right now…someday you will look at this family tree and get just as excited about it as I do.  Just remember…when you see someone in the family tree that just has “Name, rank, and serial number”, they just might have been someone who chose NOT to be a part of the family, not someone who was left out.

For others that have their own “Frenchie” family members, be kind to yourself and to the other members of your family.  You don’t have to glamorize those that don’t want to be a part of the family…but don’t chop down their part of the tree.  Make your history complete…even an infested tree can serve as shade on a hot summer day!

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