Thursday, April 7, 2011

F.....is for family

Personally, I don't think there is anything more important than family. I always wanted a huge family....maybe that's because I came from such a small one. My mom was an only child, my dad was an only child and I am an only child. This means no aunts, uncles or cousins for me as well as no siblings. I dreamed of meeting my perfect soul-mate and having at least four children. Well, I met the guy I eventually married on a blind date and after a few dates, he told me that he was from a family of sixteen! Wow.....I was envisioning the family reunions right there and then. Of course they never happened.....at least not to the extent I was hoping for.

Realistically.....Life is not The Walton's and the amount of dysfunctional families out there is amazing. Being raised alone, with no siblings, I had no idea the kind of resentment that can brew within the confines of a large family unit. My husband advised me that out of all his siblings, he was only close to one brother, three years his senior. They had lived in the deep south all his life but now most of the siblings were scattered across the nation. He and his brother relocated here to my state in search of work and the rest is history. (I was the YANKEE of the family). I was determined not to have just one child but after my second one, I knew that I would be foolish to have more. My husband and I were not compatible at all. He was definitely not my soul-mate. We tried for years to make it work, but.....eventually we had to call it quits. I have since come to terms with the fact that my 'soul-mate' probably died in Vietnam, because I never did meet him.

That split resulted in a split of the feelings of our children. Our son blamed me for "ruining" everything with divorce, where my daughter understood and sympathized with me and my reasons. They are grown now and each is a parent. However, the division has continued. It deeply saddens me.....maybe more than some people because of my belief that family is a number one priority. I am happy to say that my in-laws (his brother and his wife) still consider me family and treat me as such. They have never blamed me for calling it quits. I am a cross-eyed optimist, I guess.....but I am hoping that, in time, my children will be close.......or at least closer than they are at present. I also wish that my son were more attentive toward me, but my daughter works twice as hard to make up for the fact that he isn't. God bless the day I had her for she is my joy. As it stands now, our family reunion could take place in a teacup and we'd still have room for the band.

So, all of you who have large families....enjoy, enjoy enjoy. You may get frustrated once in a while over something "Aunt Millie" or "Cousin Olive" did or said.....but they're family and they belong to YOU. Pass the potato salad please......and, oh yeah - Keep smilin'!

10 comments:

Peruby said...

Thank you for that reminder. I was griping about a sister yesterday and I have to say - your post made me think again.

Hope things work out for your family and all goes well in the future.

Jamie said...

Oh Val - such a wonderful post. And a reminder that I might have needed...(I'll have to tell you the story soon). Bleh. But you know, like I have told you time and again, your son and daughter WILL in time, be closer. I really believe that.

Have a happy Sucky Thursday. Hugs. :)

Coffeypot said...

‘F’ may mean Family to you, but to me it’s the obvious…Frappuccino, Fun, Funny, Frolicking, Farming, ya know, the Fun Stuff.

Vanessa said...

You are right. Family is the basis of who we are whether we admit it or not.
-Vanessa

KarenG said...

I feel so blessed and fortunate that I don't come from a dysfunctional family or didn't raise one. But I can tell you it takes work and keeping the mouth shut. That's the main thing!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I love this post Val. I didn't come from a big family either...only me and my brother; but I always wanted more siblings. My mom wouldn't have been able to deal with more kids. She just wasn't able to 'go with the flow' very well; even though she loved us very much. And as much as she loved all of my kids, she was stunned when I had four...and thought that was a lot. My mom came from a family of five kids, so I'm surprised she felt that way. Thank God we were two completely different people when it came to raising kids. ~Joy

Margaret Hall said...

Awww..you touched my heart for sure in this posting, my friend...
I was an only child, vowed to have more than one and had 3...Alas, though, as I have shared, I have only the attention of the older son and his wife...
My daughter has exiled herself from Me, my ex, her two brothers and just about EVERYBODY...AND,as luck would have it, my ONLY grandchild whom I have not seen for 15 years now, she is 18....
Then my younger son has just seemed to have too much on his plate for me and my older son...He is just stubborn and too embarassed to step forward...I have tried extensively to reach BOTH of them..but, to no avail..*sigh*....Well, hope that my granddaughter will wish to know us some day...
Thanksfor the posting on family...

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Cheryl said...

This was a wonderful post. I wish for you that your kids were close to each other and that your son were close to you. He's missing out on the core...family. I've been and will continue to be the sibling in my family to iron out the differences to make sure we retain our closeness, though many is the time I have to bite my tongue and take unnecessary criticism. I'm willing to take it.

For years I knew that when my daughter left home our relationship would be over. It didn't matter that people told me otherwise. I'm so happy that the bad times passed and our relationship is a good one. Don't give up hope. I wish they could read what you wrote.

Leann said...

Your children....you just wrote about mine and the optimism I feel in hoping that someday they will be as close as they were as children.

Blessings to your and I hope your optimism pays off :-)

Patti said...

Hi Val, just came across your blog. Just read your "F" post. Want you to know that I read someplace that 98% of families are dysfunctional and the other 2% are lying!! That sure made me feel better. So from a fellow Michigander I hope this news make you feel better also!!