Families Valued

We make or pick our friends  through life’s journey, quickly at first and then more warily as experience takes the first blush off our innocence. Moving around we lose a few and make some more to compensate but are always in control, at least a little bit, at least we think we are. Some strike the deepest cord and stay with us for many years or maybe the whole voyage, enriching our experience of the world, and sharing  joys and disasters throughout our lives.

Family is different of course, we all know that. Within them we make friends and that is good but in the main they view our progress without romance. “He’s a great success or failure” is always weighed against the memory that he stole your ball when young, or never bought you presents when he might. We look past the career to the silent meanness, or wonder at their ability to find the laugh. Stand in judgement in ways we never do when assessing those we chose as friends ourselves.

When young we rush away to make connections of our own. “They are my family now”  I have heard when older teens talk of their friends. From them they get validation  they seek and are born anew with each new friend they make. With time the situation is reversed. The world around us grows slowly more complex, and plans are made which never quite come off. So we retreat and assess our lives again.

Those family members we rushed from when still young take on a new significance . Soldiers in the same regiment, with battle scars we know too well. So it goes full circle in the end.  Like ripples on the water they spread out losing identity in the endless sea, that common gene spread out across the globe in circumstances made different by some chance, or aptitude or doubt now seeks for answers in their heritage. Betrayed by life, and possibly by ourselves or celebrated through worth, or possibly by mistake, we seek for answers in our common stock, and see reflections in their point of view.Recalling some event from long ago, two grey heads, now cast in supporting roles, as urgent youth steps forward to take the lead, can smile despite their years, and in the solace of their shared heritage, unlock their childhood adventures once again.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in childhood, community, creative writing, Life, life2, old age, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Families Valued

  1. Caroline says:

    Beautifully written. So true.


  2. Barbara says:

    Your depth of thought always amazes me. I love it… keep it up!


  3. “”two grey heads, now cast in supporting roles””
    You Are A Poet. Lovely. xx


  4. backonmyown says:

    Isn’t it interesting how we gravitate back to our families of origin as we mature. I have some family members who are too toxic to spend much time with, but I love them deeply all the same. I’m always interested in how they are and what they’re doing.


  5. I love how you captured such a long space of time in 4 wonderful paragraphs 🙂

    Thanks for adjusting the link ~ I’m terrible at the techie side too, I appreciate that you linked my blog 🙂


  6. Very beautiful post! It’s true we always make our way back to our family 🙂


  7. nelle says:

    Your observations are astute, and I find myself agreeing time and again. If I mapped out my life to date, the connections born into, the connections agreed upon, the connections created… there would be stories in that map.


  8. ElizOF says:

    I find myself drawn closer to family as I age… even members who were considered harsh have softened, and we all see the passage of time as a badge of honor; and that we are still part of it… Beautiful post. 🙂


  9. Miss Emm says:

    When I was younger I had this undying desire to have a sister. And in an old Japanese movie I had seen how two unrelated people could become blood relatives by cutting their wrists and letting their blood mix. I know….it is sick, twisted, and risky. But I was five and I didn’t know better. Needless to say I desperately I wanted a sister. I wanted to pick and choose my sibling. I wish it was that easy.

    By the way, I still have not found the “right” sister.


  10. Kirri White says:

    This one hit a bit of a nerve with me Peter….I think because I do not yet fully understand why family relationships can be so much more complicated than friendships (at least in my experience). As you wrote – the way we sit in judgement…

    Totally random thought, but I just realized that you are quite the wise man….I honestly feel that I learn so much from your reflections….Here’s to my continuing education in life ~ Thank you!


  11. My son and I were so close when he was younger. Now we’re close in a far-off way. I wonder what kind of closeness we’ll have in the future?

    Great post, as ususal…


  12. Lafemmeroar says:

    I love your metaphors. You write with such vivid imagery and emotion. Well done.


  13. Jillsy Girl says:

    To me, family relationships are the least complex, maybe because I don’t question motives or actions.


  14. Judith says:

    Thanks for this post. I recently wrote about family relationships and how they are so different to any other relationships we develop as we go through life. You might be interested – http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/family-relationships/.


  15. Debbie says:

    In the past 5 years, I’ve lost both of my parents (whom, blessedly, I dearly loved) and a 30 year marriage. In loss there’s been great pain that my ‘chosen friends’ have helped carry.
    In the past 5 years, I’ve gained 3 grand daughters, and just last month, a grandson. We few who remain in my tiny family are spread from CA to NJ and MN to TX.The physical distance is daunting, but the emotional distance is very short. I’m content with my supporting role. It’s an honor to be their Mom, Grandma, Sister and Friend.
    Lovely post, Peter.


  16. Big Al says:

    As life passages go, returning to your roots is one of the latest and one of the greatest.Often bittersweet, but never a bad idea.


  17. You really never cease to amaze me with your writing. I agree with what you wrote in this post


  18. enermazing says:

    I came across your blog via the blogging buddies, after reading Elizabeth’s Mirth & Motivation post on blogging.

    Your writing is wonderful! Thank you 🙂


  19. Julie says:

    “Those family members we rushed from when still young take on a new significance . Soldiers in the same regiment, with battle scars we know too well.” I am recently discovering fabulous benefits to having lived longer. Having the privilege of returning to my generals this year is bringing me full circle in so many ways. There is a richness and beauty — and even a sweet melancholy — present that I could never before have imagined. Thank you, CD, for addressing family in this light. It adds warmth to my present and provides hope for the future.


  20. scrambled7 says:

    Friends may come and go, but we always have our family.
    Well written.
    Like always, of course.


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