Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Family

Rivers Family 1967
(I'm the one in the cat's eyeglasses)




Family.

We take it for granted,don't we? Those people we have grown up with. Those people we have joined with. Those people to whom we claim allegiance for all the right (and wrong) reasons.

Unless we don't have it. Or, at least the piece of it we most desire.

Then, we rail at the heavens, demanding justice, demanding love, demanding understanding, demanding some explanation for why the vision of family that somehow nestled in our heads and hearts is not the family we experience in real life.

When we are content with our families, it's all OK, all warm expectation of that existence we happily take for granted. Arguments and angst? Meaningless in the long rolling skein of time. When we are not content, we withdrawal into our own, or join another tribe, or want without fulfillment. We are disconnected. We are tribal animals that either embrace the pack, or become some distorted, pack-less, falsely contented rendition of ourselves. Or who we (think we) were "meant" to be.

Then come the holidays with their ability to illuminate and emphasize. And, they are never more powerful than when they are the winter holidays. Those chilly, golden times that begin with Thanksgiving and conclude with Happy New Year! Those times when we return to the nest, or write, or at least call to say, "As the year winds down, I remember you. I remember us. I remember what it means to be a part of something greater. And I want/need/have to say: 'I love you."

I love you.

Is that not the best of all the things that could be the expected?

I love you.

Really.

Wow.

7 comments:

mountain.mama said...

That is one big family! Maybe mostly happy? I used to have the same kind of glasses when I was a kid. Nice post.

CountryDreaming said...

What a fine family you were blessed with! Love how it's so big. And your description of family belonging and togetherness are inspiring. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Birdman said...

What a nice 'image' of your family. Nice memories... let's hope everyone has some of these to remember.

Lori Skoog said...

Fe,

You always write such touching posts. I have a feeling you have a good relationship with your family year round, because you "get it." I ran into a friend at the grocery store yesterday and she wondered where you were...she started reading you a long time ago (from my link) and was very happy that you were back in business.

Merry Merry!

CoyoteFe said...

MM:
It was a big, crazy family, but now it is a shrinking, crazy, mostly happy family. And a bit far-flung. MAYBE I should have more kids to pick up a slack. Maybe my family would commit me! And, I am so blind ...

Country:
Thank you! And Merry Christmas to you as well!

Hello Birdman:
I DO hope everyone collects some golden memories along the way. Always something to build on.

Lorelei:
Thank you! And, I think I have a good relationship with almost all of my relatives. And, we are working on the others. One step, two steps ...

Merry/Happy!

rebecca said...

Most especially when families are large do we experience the blissful highs when things are fine and the downright lows when things are not. Yet, I've found that in times of holidays or need, those we are at war with tend to resolutely come and stand by you and support you and love you nonetheless because in the end, you are blood....and you know the ole cliche....

Love the picture....now can I see one of you as you are now with the same eyeglasses? :)

♥♥♥♥♥♥
Rebecca-san!

CoyoteFe said...

Rebecca-san - Uhhh ... No! Ha!