Family Life

My middle son left last night, back to a demanding schedule of college summer classes, weight lifting and football practice. I cried, of course. I always do whenever my sons leave after a visit but it’s especially hard after a few weeks together and I am plopped again into the middle of what our life used to be. (My daughter is still at home.) My eldest was here for the first five days, too, and though I was not well physically, I was flying inside. I truly love being a mom and thought I’d never care for any stage of parenting more than the delightful days of their first years. I know now that I love even more watching who they are becoming.

There’s something about family and close friendships, something magical. In sharing our lives so intimately, the good times and the bad, us at our best and us at our worst, and the life-changing moments, we are transformed into something more, something substantial and of great value that can’t be measured in a purely physical way. We blend, transcending the boundaries of the little selves, meeting up with our souls, which are seeds of the energy of the universe. No person, no family, no friendship is perfect—far from it. But nearly all of us have within the soul-seeds of love, compassion and the patience necessary to build meaningful, lasting relationships. Some upbringings are traumatic; in this case, while some of us are lost to mental illness, many of us can still unlock the potential within for love, though we must first believe it is possible.

I remember one night when my son (the same one who left last night) was three or four–and never still. He was big, fearless (he climbed/fell over the side of his crib at eight months, before he could walk) and a blur of movement. I always had to keep one eye on him. One day after work, dinner and baths (me a single mom), I was sitting in the living room, feeling wiped as they say, not certain I could ever get out of the comfy chair I was in.

My son was in the living room with me and he grabbed the drapes to climb them. I remember thinking, “I am not going to jump up every five minutes to stop what he’s doing!” I also remember what I heard in my mind: “If not you, who?” (Just for the record, “every five minutes” was because I was so tired.) I knew my inner-voice was right; I was mom and dad, period. No whining.

We wouldn’t have made it to today, though, without the loving support of God, our Higher Power within, without, everywhere, the ever-present inspiring support of a loving universe who sends to us dear family and friends who are always there for us, without question. Thank you, Lord, dear family and friends.

My beloved sons and daughter

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4 thoughts on “Family Life

  1. Family is soooo important! In our North Amerucan societies ‘family’ has been disappearing in that real sense. Couples not staying together – relationships breaking up – single parents having to economiaclly survive resulting in them often not having time for their children who then go out on the streets to find ‘family’ – the rest we know.

    The ‘old’ world was certainly not perfect but families were, it seems, much stronger and longer lasting in which two or three generations often were still very much part of each other’s lives with that support that seems hard to find in to-day’s world. Sad, isn’t it? If you have it – treasure it – and be grateful, for it is indeed very special.

    • You are so right, Michael. Both my mom and my middle son recently said to me how unusual our family is, in that we enjoy each other’s company so much. And it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had divorces, financial problems, alcoholism, drug abuse, a brother/son who was murdered, the death of my sons’ father, my ill health. I believe we’ve all stayed together because of my mom, who is like the Rock of Gibraltar when it comes to family. She calls, checks, coordinates, soothes ruffled feathers. She attended nearly all of my children’s sports events and programs and, at 79, still attends my youngest brother’s softball games and his sons’ Little League games. She cares and we all know it. I hope we can carry forward some of what she has given us.
      Thanks so much for adding to the communication, Michael.

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