Blessings And Burdens

My mother has no family.  She had a father, mother and brother but they have all passed.  I sometimes wonder what that would feel like, to have your parents and your brother all gone.  There is no one who grew up with you and knew you intimately.  No one to tell those family stories with like the time you jumped off the step and broke your ankle or the time the bird got loose and got tangled in your hair flying around the house.

My mom does have four kids and a husband still and I'm sure that is a blessing.  We try to be a blessing for her although sometimes I fear we are more of a burden.  But that's a family for you.  A family is a combination of both blessings and burdens and so much more.

My oldest sister has never been married although she is living with a man.  She has one child, a daughter, my niece who has gone to University now.  My sister is experiencing empty next syndrome.  Her daughter was more like a companion for my sister than a child.  I can't imagine how much she misses that girl.  I won't say the guy she is with is much help because he's a whole other story and more of a pain in the rear than a help to her.  I think she stays with him out of pure fear that this is her last chance to be with a man.  It's just too bad he's not worthy of her.

My younger sister's two boys, are both grown up and out of the house.  Her oldest boy was married this summer.  Her youngest boy bought his first home a block or so away from us.  Their marriage has endured unfaithfulness and a separation.  Things are still pretty rocky for them as they work out how to trust again.  Their home is empty except for my sister and her husband.  I wonder how that feels, that empty nest.

My younger brother and family live in Australia.  He has three kids, a boy who is 14, a girl who is 10 and another girl who is 7.  His wife, my sister-in-law has breast cancer and has undergone a mastectomy and treatment.  They live in fear and hope that she has beat it and can move on with their lives.  I hope she's done with cancer too.

 I lay in my bed contemplating my family and the lives they have.  I compare mine to theirs and think if I would trade places with any of them.  No, I think I wouldn't.  No matter how much more money they have or how big their houses are their lives are far from perfect so I think I'll just keep my own imperfect, frustrating, life with all it's bumps and warts.  However, I will keep working to improve my life and get rid of the warts.  Unfortunately the bumps you can't always see or change. 

I see how having enough money doesn't guarantee you an easy life just an easier one financially.  It doesn't protect you from death, unfaithful spouses, loneliness, or cancer.   Now if I can just keep that in my mind the next time I have to mend my underwear because I can't afford new ones or can't send my kids to a fun activity because we don't have any money or have to wear clothes that belong in the rag bag I'll have an almost perfect life.

Comments

My mother in law lived to be 95 plus about six months and the one thing she kept saying was, she almost outlived all her friends. I heard someone say, when their last parent died, "now, I'm an orphan." It sounded strange then and sounds strange now.
Sparkless said…
It does sound strange, to be an orphan at the ate of 70 years old. But I think the feeling would be the same for a child or an adult. We expect that our parents will die before but I think it's always a shock when they are both gone.
Erin said…
Well said, girlfriend!

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