Thursday, February 15, 2007


I received an email from a good friend and it brings to mind what families mean. His niece had a virus of some type and it damaged her heart. She underwent surgery to remove the damaged tissue and the results are that she has lost 60% of her heart function. She has two small children ages 11 and 8. Her parents, (his sister was her mother) are deceased and he is the only relative she has left. He is going to change jobs and move to her home to take care of her and the children.

My first thought is how unselfish this man is. Then I asked myself, would I do the same? The answer is yes, I would. How would you answer?

It also brings to mind that many of us, me included, have issues with our family members that have not been resolved through the years. I think it is easier to allow those issues to remain unresolved than to find the courage to confront them. I believe that fear of making the first approach or fear of rejection stops us. Sometimes just plain old stubbornness stops us. Eliminate the old thing of they started this; let them be the first to make amends from the equation. Case in point is my mother-in-law who passed away carrying a grudge against her sister. She never told me or anyone else I know of what happened between them. At the time of her death, they had not spoken for over 25 years. Imagine all they missed during those years. Unfortunately, death is final and once a person passes away, there is no way for us to get back the years we missed or to tell them the things we have left unspoken.

Families can be disapproving of our lives and our choices, just as we are of theirs. They do not always support us in our decisions or lifestyles. We need to establish boundaries so these things are off limits in our interactions. We have to put aside the things that cause friction and remember they are our family and no matter what at some point in our lives we need our families.

My sister disowned me after our mother passed away. I do not know why or for what reason. I am guilty of not making that first step to resolve this situation but I can tell you that I am going to make that a priority in my life. Blame should not be a factor because it really does not matter who did what to whom. What matters is that we should value our families enough to try. If the issues are not resolved, you will know in your heart you tried to mend the divide and be at peace with yourself if it is beyond repair. It will make me sad if I cannot mend our divide because other than my son, my sister is the only relative I have remaining.

1 comment:

Gene Bach said...

Right now my wife is in SOuthern California (Moreno Valley) at her sister's house. Her sister ripped up her achiles tendon and with two small rug-rats it's hard for her to get a handle on thigs. For the next couple of weeks I'll be Mr. Mom.

We should all be willing to help each other...especially our own families.