Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More Friends, More Family

It's interesting how our ability to LOVE expands and isn't limited to a certain number of friends or family members or descendants. When we move or meet new people, many of them soon become dear friends. The same with new family members-I will love my great grandchildren still to be born as much as my family now but I won't know their hearts as well. Isn't that what makes friends and family so dear? When they feel SAFE enough to open up their hearts/souls and let us inside TRUSTING in our unconditional love for them. 

It's sad to see families where there is division and bitterness over HURT feelings. It cankers the soul of the offended one and limits beautiful relationships and experiences that could be. I've seen this happen between brothers and sisters, parents and their teens and even between friends. What is needed is FORGIVENESS even for exes. 

I know coming from my background as an only child raised by my widowed mother, I was really naive about families and how they interacted. I always wanted a brother or sister. Raised with the fairy tale mentality of my childhood––living happily ever after, that's what I expected my life to be. I thought that everyone in a normal family had no disagreements between them but time showed that to be incorrect. What an eye opener it's been. 

Then came marriage and a family of normal sons who argued and disagreed, followed by the divorce of an unfaithful spouse. I became a single parent. Remarriage and new dreams. With age comes insight and wisdom as to the role of OPPOSITION in strengthening us. It's called learning the hard way. It's called LIFE. What has been your experience with family and friends?

9 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

This was excellent. My daughter is an only child and she too longed for siblings. Now that she is married and has inlaws, she sees that it isn't really any different and she didn't miss out.
Families are tough. We fogive and forgive and then sadly sometimes even if we do, it can't be put back together.

Teresa Lynne said...

I think we all have issues and there is no perfect family. Even on TV, there is no perfect family.

Normal is so overrated, I think.

Deborah Godin said...

Enjoyed these thoughts on love and family. I too am an only child, and often wondered what it would be like to have a sibling, someone in the family who was NOT a parent! Still a mystery to me.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Very good post. My mother caused a real problem between my sister and me which she is really good at and thank goodness my sister saw what was going on...but it was a stressful time...

mom/caryn said...

I feel so odd when I enter these kinds of discussions. I had three sisters (well, one of them was actually an aunt, but she was younger than my oldest sister and always just another one of the girls in the family) and one younger brother. We've always gotten along really well with one another, no sibling rivalries and jealousies. We keep in touch and play together as often as possible. Our parents were loving and supportive and fun. It's so sad that I'm the odd one out in many groups... I'm still befuddled by a mother who doesn't know how to nuture and teach her children domestic skills and how to care for others. And I still can't quite put my head around dads who don't support their families and teach their kids everything from how to pump a bicycle tire, save for the perverbial rainy day, fix the washing machine, and tell a good campfire story. My parents did it all.

My children also enjoy one another and support one another in the ups and downs that life brings to them. It hasn't been perfect... but, pretty darn close. It's made it so easy to love and expect the best from everyone. I know I've been very, very lucky.

Some of the foster children and group home children we've worked with and had in our home throughout our marriage have lived lives full of disappointment, chaos, and rejection. It's been sad to see the hurt they've had to experience... and inspiring to watch them grow into young men and women who learned to adapt and grow beyond their circumstances. Most of them have become strong, indeed. Opposition was no doubt a part of the quotient that pushed their development.

My friendships have been such a rich blessing. I'm always a little stunned when someone's mean to me. It's not something I grew up with and it's not something I expect.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a pep talk I sure did need, Lin. Thanks. I know what it's like to have families go separate ways of differences or a decided refusal to accept a partner. Can be harrowing. Family is an irrational commitment to love. We need to keep that treasure.

Sylvia K said...

I was an only child as well and always wondered what it would be like to be part of a family -- relatives were far away, but it was fun when we got together. I had four -- two boys and two girls and an unfaithful husband, too. But I never got up the gumption to marry again, but I'm still very much involved with his family and it's been wonderful. Great post, Lin! Thanks!

Linda Reeder said...

I was one of seven siblings, and often wished for a simpler, less "shared" life. But big families can be great for support, too. We often wish for what we don't have and have to be reminded to appreciate what we have.

dellgirl said...

I love this post, Lin. Move over on the sofa so I can sit beside you. I too grew up with the... "fairy tale mentality of my childhood––living happily ever after,"...that's what I (thought) I wanted life to be. It didn't happen. Now I'm thankful it didn't.

I wouldn't have learned anything of value if it had.