Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Word about family

Loving my husband as much as I do, I HATE living so far away from all our relatives!!! I love my mom and dad and miss them terribly, especially at birthdays, our daughters' music recitals and other triumphs that mean so much to them and my husband and I. My husband's parents are 10 years older than my parents and seeing them dwindle is heartbreaking over the years. I think about the days when our parents were children and the stories they tell us about aunts and uncles, cousins and lifetime friends being within walking distance from each other all through their lives. Parents, took in their aging parents when the time came, the children sat around and listened to their grandparents' stories and learned their values of yesteryear. (My husband and his family, then my grandparents on their wedding day)

Marriage is soo very important to keep alive and working at it is a day to day effort as the USCCB says. The efforts of the Vatican and Bishops to pay attention to families in this way is an "About time" kind of issue in my mind. We have been needed a better acknowledgement for years. Much of why is due to the fact that we no longer have families living together in the same town...Some will disagree with me on this, but in recent years as we move away, get busier with activities with children, work/careers, and keeping up with the 'Jones' we have lost that reminder that there is a simpler time behind us in our history where love was more important than money and Money only got the bills paid, but human effort was priceless.

The telephone and now email is great for short-term when we can't be together, but there is nothing like a real hug from your mom and a "bear hug" from your dad! I can't wait to see them soon!! That's me, my girls, and my dad on his farm.


Jeff said...

But what about the dogs....? You know, they can't even type (well, they can, but it's a bit difficult to really understand when they go ";ouoedubg u895e vckj"). Dogs like giving and receiving attention, too!

And in other news: Family is a Catch-22. I am from a military family, and did not grow up around a lot of my extended family, and yes I do miss some of the opportunities that could have been had if we lived around each other. My late wife grew up with all of her cousins (on one side of the family) within a 20-30 minute drive.

I fully agree that it is a wonderful thing to have the immediate family a lot closer than, say, half-way across the country, but I must admit - having a bit of space between the family makes the good memories that much better (even if they are farther apart).

Thanks for the drink... nickel's on the bar... should cover my "two-cents" worth a couple of times over... - jle

Christine said...

I have visited this train of thought recently. My grandmother is 90. Until this spring, she lived in her own apartment. This spring, she wound up in rehab for a fractured sacrum. She went back home and promptly fell. She now needed someone around 24 hours a day. My father is one of 3. My oldest uncle has some health problems, and his wife has Parkinson's disease and they live in handicapped/elderly housing, so he could not take Memere into his home, my youngest uncle has a history of mental illness. While he is doing quite well now, it is just him, and he could not be home 24 hours a day. My father is semi retired, but my mother still works full time. On top of that, dad has osteoarthritis and mom has lupus. They do have a spare room, but the effort of 24 hour care for Memere and working full time is just not feasible for my parents. I have no extra room in my home, and I live 40 minutes from the rest of the family, so I couldn't take her in either. Sadly, we had no other choice but to put her in a nursing home.
At the same time that Memere was hurt, my FIL was in the hospital for gall bladder surgery. He is 75, so there is a very real possibility that he will have deteriorating health in the near future.


Ebeth said...

Christine, Sounds like you have your heart full! Time marches on whether we are mentally ready or not. My prayers are with you and your family as well as my own!
God Bless!

Suzanne said...

Ebeth, you are very right about all of this. Maybe you've read my posts about having lived with both of my parents until they passed right here in our home. Yes, it was tough at times, but there were also very precious times. I think the opportunity was offered to me by God and we took it. There were lessons to be learned and just like raising kids, I'd do a few things differently, however, I also would not change how it all came to pass ...not for anything...I am grateful. I miss them, but before we were together again, they lived in Memphis and we lived as we do now in Indiana. They made the sacrifice to come here..that was hard on them too, so it was a sacrifice both ways, but one done with as much love as we could muster. My children learned alot.
God bless.

Kitchen Madonna said...

Hey I tried to reply to your email last night but it kept coming back. Just sent the same email to your addy here. Just in case that doesn't work, let's get together and Saturday and Monday are looking good and if I need to meet you at the EWTN event, that is fine. Or coffee in Vestavia is fine or Apron World!

Barb, sfo said...

We are only about 75 to 125 miles from family (depending on whose relatives you are talking about) and it does become a burden. Here in New Jersey that trip can take a LONG time, with traffic and I do know where you are coming from. Our kids have never known the blessing of grandparents in the same AREA CODE, never mind in the same town. And I know they hurt for that.