“Once you were old enough, what were the dark family secrets you were finally let in on?”

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Gramma didn’t decide to move in with us because she loved us so much and wanted to spend more time with us. Gramma moved in because her son was a meth addict and convinced her to put his name on the house, take all the money out of it “for renovations,” and leave her homeless. She had a heart attack the night she found out and now has to live with a pacemaker. Fuck you Uncle Roy.


My cousins lived with us for a while and we thought that was fun because it’s like a sleep over every day. One time our mom even took us out of school to pick them up. I learned later that it was because child protective services took my cousins away from their mom because of mental health issues. My mom offered to take her sister’s kids until she got her mental health back in order. My cousins live with their mom now and their mom is in a much better condition mentally.


My father got my mother pregnant when he was her teacher in high school. He was thirty and married. She was fifteen and his student. They ran off together, he got a divorce, and they got married in a state that allowed marriage at 16, two months before my older brother was born.


My grandma retired and she still decided to work for her brother in his restaurant to save up money for when she dies. Funerals are, obviously, expensive. She insisted he would hold on to her paychecks and pay for her funeral when she dies. He never did.


Grandma’s top secret pie crust was actually just Marie Calender’s from the grocery store, set in a fancier dish. She messed with her daughters-in-law for years over it.