“You Knew What You Were Getting Into”

by Debi

My dad’s family were hunters. My mom was repulsed by the bloody impulse that overtook her new family each autumn. Any time Mom expressed her feelings, my grandmother would say, “You knew what you were getting into when you married into this family.” So my mother usually kept quiet, shuddering on the inside while her in-laws hung that season’s kill to bleed in the barn.

I grew up in that environment. Going to my family’s property in North Central Washington was a beautiful trip I looked forward to, but the gore and bloodshed during Hunting Season was more than I could handle. A sensitive child, it upset me to look into the dead eyes of such magnificent creatures.

When feeling particularly frustrated with my latest crying jag, Grandma would sometimes confuse me with my mother, and she’d tell me it was my fault for choosing to be part of this family. Really, Grandma? I don’t remember choosing which womb to bring me forth.

Eventually my dad and grandparents stopped taking me with them to the family’s cabin during Hunting Season. A child wailing loudly over the death of Bambi’s mother or father evidently wasn’t conducive to enjoying the family’s favorite blood sport.

You knew
what you were getting into
when you chose
to be part of this family.

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