I've been thinking a lot about family. We had a Carter family reunion this weekend, I just finished a book about a disfunctional, healing family, last night I visited with my mom's sisters, I'm dwelling on what memories my own kids will look back on, I just read an interview with Angelina Jolie about her family, my kids started piano lessons with their great-grandma. I can't escape it. Not that I'd want to. Pondering familial issues is intriguing. The good and the bad. Did you grow up with your mom saying, "Friends will come and go, but so and so will be your brother/sister forever?" It's true, and as a kid I thought my mom was crazy.
I'm connected to those who came before me. Part of me is part of them. There are times (not many, but I'd lie if I didn't say it was so) I've contended with this idea, thinking to myself, I'm not like them, judging that some of my long-ago relatives were too stringent. Ach, isn't it awful to admit something like that? I saw them as realists, thinking they weren't dreamers or passionate like I am, that I shared no common bond with them. There are some things you don't read in family histories, because I'm sure that we're all dreamers when we're not caught up in the realitites of life. Long ago, life was about survival, it was THE reality. We're more free to dream these days. Okay, lest you think I'm trashing my family (which I'm not) there are many, many I'm proud of, awed by, want to be like. But there's always an odd duck here or there, right?
If there's one thing that I value most of all about where I came from, those who came before me, it's their determination. In life and faith. Professionally and familially (if that's a word). Their lives were full of honor. Who's honorable, noble anymore? It's hard to find and if you do they're probably older than you. I'm convinced that it's because of my ancestors determination, honor, and nobility that I'm free to dream today. They instilled it in their children and so on, until it reached my parents and passed to me.
I'm 100% sure that what we make of our families, what we offer our children, what we give back to our parents, grandparents, and so on is all connected. Linked. Positive or negative. And oftentimes a whole bunch of forgiveness is neccessary. But not just that. These connections are the most important things we have in life. The make-up of our legacy. I'm left thinking, what will I leave behind . . .