My family is not unique. Well, we are. But, we are not unique in the following sense.
Within a mere 3 months in 2010, two cataclysmic evens occurred – a Death and a Divorce. (I’d copyright that “title,” but no one would dare want it.) Those “big ticket” events that occur in families tend to make a family pull in tighter or begin to find other ways to find that “good family feeling,” as I refer to it.
We did the latter.
One of us moved to another country. One of us fostered children. One of us became the “go to” for anyone in Dallas that needed a runny nose wiped. One of us moved out of one burden to buy another equally heavy burden. One of us retreated entirely. Running away from what we’d lost.
Having returned to this family after many years, I find a family that is fractured, and not doing as well. One of us is overworked (no, two). One of us is underutilized. One of us is feeling left out. One of us is feeling too much pressure. All of us have one thing in common: we are not happy.
Traditionally, this would be the point when, like an old, beautiful carriage house in University Park, someone would bring in a demolition crew and bring it down. Replace all the old family members with new shiny ones (with new shiny DNA that doesn’t know the history).
But, there was a long-standing tradition from half of the “death” about how we, as a family, handle issues like a fracture. I can hear him now. “Granddotta, get in the car, just like we always used to do, and go to the beach. All of you need to put down your worries and be togethuh (Virginia accent).”
Sometimes, when a family fractures, the only glue that can bring it together is time and traditions. Time to heal some deep, fresh wounds. Time together to make some new memories that will replace the old, painful ones.
And, when the foundation of that old carriage house was built by generations of family-loving Texans and Virginians, that’s something. Traditions is something that even a fracture or a demolition can’t destroy.
It’s worth it to try to put the fracture together and there are four reasons…W…C…A…and G. The next generation doesn’t deserve to be without their family’s strong foundation.