I know FAMILY is a word that can be described, categorized and defined in a variety of ways.
My Father in law used to say “Family is like fish. After 3 days, they start to smell.” The wisdom of Thomas R. Saxelby… :)
We all have 3 types of families:
The ones we are born into
The ones we create
And the ones we choose
I have had the experience over the last few years, of reconnecting with a family member of mine that I had distanced myself from for a period of years. I struggled with this person… I could not reconcile the type of life he choose with the person I knew and grew up with.
I am not trying to judge in this piece… I am instead trying to add perspective on how complicated these relationships can be.
I always said that I had a large suitcase full of characters in my family. Yet when you speak about family with good friends the comparisons can become funny… one of my friends outdid me with a cargo plane full!
The thing is, it’s a crap shoot.
You don’t get to pick who you are born to, and that my friends is the million dollar lottery ticket… Do you win, do you loose, or do you get something in between?
Sometimes, even when you have decent people raising you… there’s one child who goes off the rails.
That happened to me… in the family that I was born into. One member who choose such a different path… a path that ultimately caused much pain for the children he choose to have. He was so complicated… and provided such a challenging space for his kids to live in, grow up in, and be in.
He caused them to loose the chance to have a father they could count on … one who would make them feel safe, and give them the chance to find their best selves along the way. We all make choices…
Yet, does that preclude him from being treated with respect and dignity when he’s now at the end of his life here? Does he deserve to be cared for now?
You learn in opportunities like this… you learn if you can let go, and embrace kindness just because it’s the right thing to do… it’s not the easy thing to do… but the right thing.
This is my complicated thought for today…
Love to hear your thoughts…
Until next time,