Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Final Rant

After this...I am going to move onto happier subjects...maybe not forever...but at least for a while...I hope.

This year, we have had many trials. Wade lost his job. We have had car trouble constantly...with both the. same. time! This paired with a struggling economy and rising gas prices has put a strain on my small family. A lot of times Wade "complains", for lack of a better word, about us not having money, our furniture is crap, after 11 years of marriage we have nothing to show for it, etc., etc. Really, this is his way of venting. I vent, but usually it is in my head...or on here,.. bless your hearts. I try to remind him that we are rich in so many other ways. We have each other....because that is what family does. When someone is down on their luck, you help them. You don't talk to behind their backs about how they didn't save money for times like this, how she shouldn't have bought those boots last don't kick your family members when their down.

My sister wrote to me in one of many hurtful e-mails this week that "the concept of family has fallen apart". While I think that she was right regarding family in America, I can assure you that she was wrong in what my concept of family is.

First, what does family mean? Well, here is the dictionary version:

1: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household

This is definitely NOT my family, so this can't apply to me.

In my concept of family, you love each other. No matter what. When you are up, when you are down. Everyone has faults. Every. one. The only perfect being that ever walked this earth was Jesus Christ. I am certainly not Jesus Christ. And neither. are. you.

In my concept of family, you talk to each other. Not through e-mail. Not through Myspace. Not through text messaging. And although the telephone is a great invention, you need to put that down sometimes too. You need to see each other. Feel each other. Look at each other's faces. Look into each other's eyes. How can you truly know each other when you can never touch? Feel their flesh. See through those eyes, into their souls. See their smiles. See their tears. See their frowns. Fellowship with each other. You take on their hurts and you take on their happiness.

As I was growing up, I had two separate families. My father's family and my mother's family. Up until about the age of four, my brother and I didn't see my father. He didn't come. He wouldn't come. She tried to get him to come. He had more important things to do. It's the truth. It is cold. It is hard. But that is just the truth.

I remember one time when I was five. He was supposed to come get us for the one weekend of each month that was his. There we sat, with our suitcases, waiting....he never showed up. No explanation. No phone call. He just didn't come. We were 8 and 5. Memorable ages. I am 31. I still remember that defining moment. I can see the color of the suitcase. I can see out the window where we watched.

Eventually, we did begin to go to my father's house regularly....and we spent the day, from the time we were up and had breakfast in us, until it was dark....outside. He...was inside.

We didn't spend time with grandparents, aunts and uncle's or cousins from that side very often, we may have seen them three times a year for a couple of hours at a time. It wasn't the same. Brian and I, we were outsider's because we weren't there. Wasn't our fault. We didn't have control over it.

At one point, one of our aunts said that we were the black sheep of the family because we were the children of divorce. How sad! This blame was put on children, who if they could have changed their situation, you bet they would have. These children did not set the boundary of one weekend a month and they certainly didn't choose how that time was spent.

Children only want to be loved. They come from the womb wanting to be cuddled and held close. It is in their nature. It is the human nature. It is what is taught and what is given that teaches them to hate instead of love.

My mother's side of the family is the polar opposite of my father's side.

When my Papa was alive, we were at their house at least one Sunday a month and every holiday. I don't mean the big ones, just Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I mean, anytime we got a chance to get together, we were there, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. The room was filled with laughter, loud chatter, all the women in the kitchen preparing the meal together, the cousins hanging out talking about school and whatever else was going in our lives at the time. Prayer at the beginning of the meal and hugs and kisses when coming and when going.

When we weren't at Memaw and Papa's house, we wanted to know when we were going. We wanted to know how "Angie was doing" or "wasn't that funny what Steve said the other day". There were no hidden resentments. There was no backstabbing. There was no cattiness. There was love. You felt it when you walked into that house. You were never an outsider. We would often bring friends. They were immediately accepted into their hearts. Never black sheep.

This is what family means to me. This is the kind of family that I want to teach to my children. I want to teach them that to love someone, you have to love them unconditionally. You have to love all of them. You have to love their faults. You have to love their good qualities. You love them whether they have a drug problem, whether they are an alcoholic, whether they are from a divorced family, that the black sheeps are the ones that need our love the very most because they are the ones that have been shown the least love and are hurting the most.

Things have changed in my mother's family. We don't get together as much since Papa passed away. Our families have grown, some have moved away and it is just harder to get together. We miss each other. We have to keep in touch through Myspace, blogging or the telephone. We all have different families. Some have divorce in them, some don't. We continue to love each other.

There is one holiday that we never miss. Christmas Eve. We have always had Christmas Eve at Memaw's and Papa's and I have never missed one in my 31 years. But if you come into that home on Christmas Eve, you would never know that we had been apart. Our children now all play with each other, talking about school or whatever, the women are in the kitchen preparing the meal, there is laughter, loud chatter and prayer before the meal. We have even had a surprise wedding. You would never know that we had not been together for months. We love each other. We love each other's faults. We love each other over the distances. We hug hello and we hug goodbye. We hold tight in those embraces. They are heartfelt. That is family.

There are some things that go on that we may not agree on, but we love each other anyway. Someone may have done something that hurt someone's feelings. It is never intentional and we would never purposely set out to hurt each other's feelings.
It's okay. None of us are perfect.

My concept of family is very well intact.

It has been a tough month for me....I am having a very hard time dealing with a lot of things that are going on in my life...all of which seem to be hitting me all at the same time.

I miss my Papa. He would have loved my children. He would have been impressed with Dylan's intelligence, he would have loved Jackson's vigor and I think he would have just adored Emma. I miss our drives. I miss his stories. I just miss him.

We are having a hard time financially with the job loss. I know there are many in America who are, so who am I to complain, but it just seemed that right when we were getting it together, it started falling apart.

I miss my children. I hate when they are at school. Now, my best friend started pre-k.

My little sister got engaged...I learned about it a month later...on Myspace.

My sisters both e-mailed me several times in a couple of weeks, one blaming me for "ruining her wedding day", the other "blaming me for keeping my children away from my father", claiming that "I single myself out to make other's feel guilty", amongst other hurtful things, but then they say they love me.... but that it can't be the same... that our relationship is nothing more than exchanging Christmas gifts....

This my friends, is when family should be flocking to our side....not berating us with hateful e-mails...which, by the way, "are not meant to be hateful"......

Stop and think about what you are doing...think about the things you say....sometimes it is not all about you...and it's not about me either....

For the first time in my life, I have had, yes folks, I have actually entertained the idea... thoughts of suicide, of running away, of just wanting to get away from all of it. I want to be alone. You think those e-mails helped my anything...they are helping to push me to the brink. Thanks girls.

The thing that brings me back to sanity, my husband and my me...they love me for me. They love all of my emotions, they love all of my faults, they love my hair-brained ideas...they, love me unconditionally. They....even think that I am cool!!!...for now.

I am an emotional person...can you tell :)....I cry, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I am an ugly crier, I go mute when I cry...I take things to heart...very easily...I want to be everyone's friend, I hate it when people are mad at me because I try my very best to be a people pleaser, I don't want to disappoint, I get emotionally high sometimes and just feel like doing something crazy like leaps through the yard, tried toe touches the other day....ouch...this is is who I me unconditionally. High or low. I remember things that hurt...I take forever to heal! Like my brother, he told me last Christmas that he didn't want to bring his new girlfriend around yet because me and my mother were too judgemental. Ouch! Didn't know he felt that way. That...still hurts.

As we enter into my favorite season, I am hoping this helps to bring spirits up, I love the smells, the colors, the oranges, the browns and the reds, fall would make a great wedding time. I look forward to the Christmas season, especially now that my Christmas list has been trimmed down by a few people, less money going out. Yea!

We are entering soon into the season of love. A season of family and friends. A season where there are love songs of people being apart and coming home on Christmas. A season of Christ. Christ is love. Love is what He taught. Love one another this season. Unconditionally. Put down the hateful words. Put aside differences. The world is harsh enough without us beating each other up. I am hurt. I am broken. I can't change some things. I can't change the past. I am not perfect. But I can love. That is what I have for you. Unconditional love.

Love Me.

1 comment:

Randy Charles Morin said...

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