One of the Bloggers that I read regularly has made a few posts about family and what they mean to you. That got me to thinking about mine.
I feel like I have two families. The family that I was born into where I had an abusive (mostly out of town) dad, a mom, four sisters and (finally) a brother when I was thirteen years old. My life living with my birth family was, well….. not the best. I won’t go into all the details. However I will just scratch the surface for you. Dad worked out of town four or five nights a week. He drank a whole lot and whored around on my mom. With six children to raise in the fifties and sixties my mom never had a day off. She was pretty amazing. I felt then that my sisters could do no wrong. I was always yelled at for hitting them or doing something wrong to them. I was just a miserable boy. I must have worn my mom and dad out by the time I was seventeen years old because they signed the papers allowing me to enter the US Navy.
That was in 1972 and to this day I can count on one hand the number of times my five siblings have come to visit me and my family here in SC. It seems the road to their house is shorter than the road from their house to ours. It has gotten better as we have all gotten older but no so much.
Now my wife and I have been married a little over thirty-four years and have grown daughters with husbands and children of their own. Our relationships could not be any more polar opposites from the family I grew up in if we tried. Wait a minute… as I was writing this it occurred to me that on some level maybe we did try to foster better relationships with our children than modelled by my parents. I will state here and now though I give my wife all the credit for those early years of child rearing. She really is a remarkable woman in so many different levels.
Not only do we all love each other but we all like each other too. My daughters and their families both bought homes in the same neighborhood that we live in. That may seem a bit odd to some or even most but you can’t imagine how many times other parents our age have told us how blessed we are. They will say that their kids are spread all over, that they hardly get to see them or their grandchildren. Us? We have family dinners most every week. We either grill out or have lasagna (my wife makes the “perfect” lasagna). My oldest daughter was just over here last night talking to me and her mom about issues at her day care as it pertains to her three year old son. Our middle daughter and her husband moved in with us when he was activated to go to Afghanistan. Thank God they did because she was here with us when two green uniforms walked up to our front door to tell her that her husband had been killed in action. What an awefull, awefull night.
I have to move on from that .
When we were asked twenty-seven months ago to take custody of a (then) two and four year old brother and sister we consulted with our entire family before we agreed. With their understanding and blessings we did and now we are about finished with the adoption process. It’s kind of funny that my three year old and nineteen month old grandson’s have a four year old uncle and a six year old aunt.
In spite of all of the hardships, in spite of all of the heart ache, in spite of what life can do to a family we have been and remain abundantly blessed to have each other and too know that no matter how big or how small we can always count on each of us to do what ever needs to be done for the other.
How in the world did I ever get from “there” to “here”?
Thank You Lord!