Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Family matters

I find it really funny at how no matter how hard we try, most of the time as humans we take the ones for granted that really should be the most important people in our lives.  So often we choose friends, girl-friends, boy-friends, pets, and the list could go on, instead of making the people who have been with us from the beginning our priority.  
Unfortunately I've seen it with my own sisters and grandparents.  Days, weeks and even months can go by without talking to them.  Now my grandparents are gone and I kick myself for not taking the time while they were here to make them a priority to go see more often.  I let stuff get in the way.  I let my own selfishness for "fun" or getting stuff done take precedence over spending time with the people that had an instrumental part of me even being on this planet.    Gosh, what a waste of my time.  Now they are all gone and I've missed my chance to be with them.   You would think I'd learn my lesson and take better care of preserving the other family relationships I have.  Nope.  I can go months without talking to a couple of my sisters.  Not because I don't care about them or love them, it's just that I talk myself out of calling or whatnot.  I tell myself that they are busy or wouldn't want to talk..... well, who cares.  I should try.  I find out all the info from our mom, but what happens when she is gone?  Then what?   I see the same patten happening with my own kids.  That breaks my  heart.  The older kids are gone most of the year to college, jobs, etc.... the little ones look forward all year long to see them and then the boys get home and being pestered by little kids is the last thing they want to do.   The only thing is, they don't realize that they are hero's in the minds of their brothers and sisters.  No matter what they do, or how much they argue, the little kids want to be just like the older ones. 
It's something that I see the older I get.  Family matters.  Family matters a LOT.  You don't have to agree, get a long, or even be their "favorite"...... it just matters that it's family.  Through thick or thin your brothers, sisters,mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents need to know that you have their back.  Come hell or high water that bond should not be allowed to be broken. 
In today's day and age it is a cell phone world.  Most of us do not leave the house without our cell phone.  So why is it that we don't stay in touch more often with our family?  It's not like the phone call has to last a long time.  Pick it up, dial, say "Hi I was just thinking about you and wanted to say hello" and call it good.  Sometimes you might talk longer, sometimes you might have to leave a message.  At least the point has gotten across.  Family matters. 
After my dad died, I lost touch with lots of my dad's side of the family.  Granted, I was only 5 so I'm not really sure how "in touch" i was in the first place....... but still.   There was one person in particular that didn't keep in contact with us and that hurt.  It hurt pretty bad.  In fact I grew to pretty much hate that person.  Maybe it was my own fault for letting it bug me that much, but I just assumed he would want to......  when I realized that we didn't matter that much to him I grew resentful.....   Now that I'm older I can understand a little better about how and why that would happen.  Life goes on......  but with family, life shouldn't just "go on".   It should go on with family.  Family reunions shouldn't happen only at funerals.  We hear ourselves saying "oh we need to get together instead of only here at the funeral home"...... well, we say it, but do we mean it?   It's been forever since I've been to Arkansas with my kids to see my sister.  It's been 11 years.  I've seen her, but only because she comes here........  that sucks.  What is sooo important that I can't take a trip out to see her?  Make sure she knows that I think she is important enough to travel to see her?  She is.  I go to see my mom in Fl when she is down there and so I see my other sister when I go down but to be honest, would I go down there just to spend time with her if my mom wasn't there?  I'd LOVE to say yes, but honestly, I'd probably let other things get in the way.  I'ts just frustrating sometimes.  If money  was no option I'd go see all my family every year..... but alas, money is needed........ However, I'm getting off on a tangent.  I'm actually borderline becoming pissed at someone who I feel makes it hard to do that sort of thing...... so I will stop. 
We need to decide if family IS really important to us or not.  If it is do something about it.  Call, write, visit, etc..... if it's not then I guess there isn't anything more to say........  except I feel sorry for you.


  1. I'll take pity. there's a lot of my family that ... well, the thought occurs to me during many-a family function that if I wasn't related to these people, I'd have nothing to do with them.
    Like, my grandma is coming to visit in a few weeks. So instead of being all realistic about the technicalities of her visit (she's only coming because she's going to be in Paris with my mom, but then she's going to spend even more time in Spain with her step daughter- a woman who has no children and has chosen to live in Australia for the last decade and a half but who still ranks annual visits when I couldn't even get the woman to make a three hour detour to come visit me while I was in Seattle- and then will grace us with a whopping FOUR DAYS- me, the only granddaughter she has from the only CHILD she has with the only blood great grandbaby... but this is all useless, see?) I am instead groping desperately for charity and goodwill because, after all, she is cutting her Spain vacay short to come see us.
    But it's a long battle and I, too, get uselessly pissed off in these repetitive, destructive patterns. I guess my issue isn't so much that life gets in the way as much as it is this constant desire to feed the victimized little girl inside of me. Right now, I'm stupid enough to think that if that makes me selfish and a waste of a body at a family reunion, well, I'm okay with that. For now.
    I think there's a difference between knowing family is important and really *knowing* family is important. I will always make time for someone until they stop making time for me.

  2. well said Holly! I'm guilty of paying lip service to the whole "family matters" thing too. I pick up the phone way less than i should. Shame on me =)

  3. So, I grew up to hate my dad. He only called when it was his "turn" for a visit each summer....and that was it! Any time I visited, he'd brag about his other children and tell me I was nothing compared to them. Hell, he even showed up on my wedding day and told me he'd imagined me prettier. The thing is, not having a relationship with him means I can't have a relationship with ANY of them. I'm the bad guy...nevermind the things he says and does...it's ALL my fault. So, for me, I don't call because I get hung up on, or I get a lecture about how rude I am.

    I could write a book about the awful things my dad has said and done to me...and how it's not fair that I'm treated the way I am by the rest of the family, but I suppose I should be the one to grow up....

  4. Brinn--- in my book a "father" isn't someone who is an ass and would say horrible things like that to you. I wouldn't give him the time of day!