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Category Archives: Family

family_branches on a tree

As Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself more emotional and reflective of the many milestones in our long family history, both happy and sad, that have taken place at this time of the year.  While many holidays are based on religious observance, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to share the feast, created by many hands, gathered in one home.

As we enter my sister’s home, I am reminded of the passage of time; there are those who are no longer with us, but whose spirit I carry in my heart.  There are beautiful babies and grandchildren to marvel at.  New spouses have joined in our family celebrations and the branches continue to grow and spread out.

Each offering of food has been created with love and the menu composed to provide for Dad’s favorite flavors (we are good daughters).  Great grandparents sit with four generations in a home that continues to stretch its walls each year.

It is a blessing to still be able to gather and celebrate each other’s presence.  Surrounded by those whom we love and cherish, sensitivities and emotions can run high.  We each have our vulnerabilities and differing views among our interdependence.  We are close, or far, but connected nonetheless.

For this, and throughout the year, I have gratitude.

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May you always have food on your table, friends and family to support you, and good memories to shelter you from harm.
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family loyalty_haniel long

 

Family is one of my priorities in this lifetime.

I have been blessed with a large and loving family.  If there is a crisis, all hands are on deck and we are fiercely protective and involved.  While we didn’t all live in the same place, because we had love for each other, our children grew up to love as well.  Is there such a thing as a perfect family?  I certainly don’t know of one.  Our family, like yours, has its own issues and plenty of baggage.  I have endured difficult family struggles and attitudes by some.  It can complicate matters, or cause revisionist histories, when there are misunderstandings in action or communication.

My family is divided as my children live in four different locations in North America and have very widely different philosophies.  (Yes, you guys really are all related!) But, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of each, and try to figure out how to be the best mother to each vastly individual and unique adult child.  We don’t stop being mothers, or worrying, when they leave home.

As a parent, I may not be part of their daily lives, but I carry them with me in all that I do and think about.  There are bonds of blood and bone that connect us.  I am grateful when I observe them extending kindness and compassion to others.  It thrills me and fills my heart to see them show respect to their grandparents and friendship to their cousins.  Having respect for my siblings, and all of their children and grandchildren, my children have witnessed long-term loyalty, and empathy, and that we choose to live it.

Good, bad, or indifferent – we are a family.  There is no such thing as “unconditional love.”  Everyone has a judgment, or strongly held belief or opinion, and absolutely NO fear of expressing it.  But, it is my great hope, in my legacy as a parent, that my children continue to be part of each other’s lives.

When you speak of a family, and each member’s contribution to it, you do not leave out one because they are geographically distant.  If there is truly love and respect, it is understood that we stand united whether emotionally or physically.  The lessons that we learn in our families affect the balance in our future relationships.

We come together when there are milestones and life events, both happy and sad.  We are a family and we don’t pick and choose who has value, or who matters more, as if it were a competition.

Each member has a hand in caring for another and all are important parts of the whole. We are a family and all are welcome and special at our table.

family means no one get forgotten_david ogden stiers

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What does family loyalty look or feel like to you?

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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motherhood.jpg

Memories of childhood are a fragile thing.  The good things slip away while the negative things are enhanced.  History is revised and pain is magnified.  We carry a lot of baggage from our childhoods and struggle to let it go.

I spoke with one of my closest friends and, naturally, we spoke about motherhood and our children.  “You?” she said, “You were the Martha Stewart of mothers!”  Me?  She recalled the baking, the art projects, special foods, clothing, the trips and other things forgotten by the wayside. She said she was there all along and saw how much I did.  She said that she wished that my children could hear the love that I speak with for them and the sorrow that little of it seemed to be remembered.

We have photos, emails and witnesses to our efforts to succeed as parents.  But, layers of fear and insecurity lodge deep in our hearts and minds no matter how old we get.  Sibling rivalry seems to continue and anger blossoms.  We replay and repeat stories until they intensify in their importance or we create “new” memories.

As young adults, we seek to do everything differently than our parents and cover up the psychic wounds with activity.  As we get older, we doubt the level of love and connection to our family members.  My parents certainly didn’t love every decision or behavior of mine, but, thankfully, we had open dialogue about it.  Did they love us enough? Was their love “unconditional”?  I don’t know anyone who is loved unconditionally.   Loved fiercely? Absolutely.  But, while we love deeply, we do not always agree with the choices made or individually developed personal philosophies.  We are separate persons with different experiences and opinions.  These ideologies are just not our own, so our understanding differs.

Our children never stop being our children whether young or old.  I still get a thrill when I get a smile from my father or hear a shared memory.  But, I can also flinch when I hear his anger and feel like a young child again.  It takes a lifetime to figure out who we are within, and without, our families.  We don’t always remember the same moments from a single event, but we love.

We have layers of history and time that cannot be replaced.  No one will know us as long as the members of our family.  We create many friends who become like family.  But the bond of parenthood goes deep.  We never want to hurt our children and struggle to communicate this.

“Life is like an onion.  You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”                                                  Carl Sandberg

layers rose.jpg

Our words are misunderstood as judgmental or disapproving.  Our tone, our words, our actions, and our motives are questioned and doubted.

I only have so much time to impart lessons and envy those with symbiotic relationships with their children.  My hope has been that my children turn out to be good people, kind and empathetic, in and out of the home.  I don’t expect them to live near me, but I do hope that they succeed in whatever it is that they do.  Whatever “happy” means, I want them to find it.

It takes a lifetime to be a parent, but we keep trying to show them the depth and layers of our love no matter how long it takes.

children are the only people that bring you to brink of insanity.jpg

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/layers/

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Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/layers/

home_maya angelou

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit.
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