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#272: I'm the Patriarch of the Family

Sunday, March 28, 2010

To some people, a sense of family means little. To me, and others, a sense of family is of great significance and we do what we can to capture the spirits and memories of our relatives.

During a conversation with my adult nephew today it hit me -- I'm the patriarch of the family now. After Mom died and then her brother, my uncle Bud, a short time later, I became the oldest in the family. emoticon

Until now I have felt overwhelmed at all of the items that document our family's triumphs and evolution that are stored in the house. I have resented that my brother and sister have not helped as much as I believed they should in sorting and labeling these things.

I now recognize that it is more my responsibility than theirs to hold onto the things that bring the relatives to life and to preserve them for those who follow me.

I recognize, too, that I was allowing negative thinking to drive my feelings toward my siblings. emoticon

But, tonight my heart is lighter. My thinking is no longer dominated by negativity. emoticon No longer do I resent having to assume this role. I fully understand this role is as much a part of life as are the objects that bring back so many fond memories of those who have passed on.

It is a challenge I accept with renewed vigor and with hope that my living relatives will one day see the light and come to appreciate that some "things" are important to keeping thoughts of the family alive.

It will be a shame if they fail to grasp the significance of our relatives' lives. We are all a part of the evolution of life and none of us want to be or should be forgotten. emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Lou it sounds like you had a little revelation there!!! Good job on that positive attitude!!! emoticon
    3991 days ago
    I am glad you worked through your resentment. I hope someday they will value the time you have taken to preserve those memories and history of your family. Have a super day! Joy
    3991 days ago
    Lou, you are an inspiration!

    3991 days ago
    Good for you, Lou!! I cherish what memories we have been able to document from those who have gone before us. I so wish I'd been more studious in documenting things from my parents before their passing. Good thing we're natural storytellers here in the deep south, and stories get carried from one generation to the next easily. Not always accurately, but easily. lol
    3991 days ago
    emoticon post. emoticon

    I can really relate not only to the joy but past frustrations.

    Have a sparklin' week!
    3991 days ago
    I hope my children will remember...I tend to think they will... emoticon
    3991 days ago
    I hope my children will remember...I tend to think they will... emoticon
    3991 days ago
    I too wonder what is going to happen when my mom passes. I have an older sister, who currently lives with my mother, and a younger brother, who live about 45 minutes away, and I am in the middle geographically as well as age wise. While my brother and I have families, my sister has been helping mom out for the past 15 years. My mom is a pack rat and going through her house is going to be a chore. I know it's going to cause a lot of conflict when it does happen. It's won't be the dividing of material things, no, it will be sorting through a 3 bedroom house and garage packed to the brim full of stuff. Most of which is still in unopened boxes. Do you know I think my mom still has copies of Life magazine from the 60's! It will be difficult and each memento will bring tears. I hope we can all get together and do this as a family. We will be all we have left of each other.

    Thanks for the blog Lou, God Bless you. Step into those shoes with pride and assurance, you can handle them!
    3991 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    I understand what you are saying, but as in my family, really the relatives who have moved on to their final resting place, some remembered if the last generation, but before that, not really. It is a shame that todays fast paced world is the way it is. Kids (grown ones) and parents don't get together like we did with ours. We were always on the phone with them, or visiting with them and other relatives when I was a child. I fear the world has not changed for the better.

    I'm glad you are taking the initiative, gladly, to preserve these things.

    3991 days ago
    I understand this one, Lou. When my mom dies, I will be the matriarch. I already have some of the wonderful photos of family I never met, family in their younger days. History--it is fabulous! My family on my mother's side goes back to a village in Prussia where the Jews left when persecution became to heavy, and further and further back. My own father worked in Intelligence in Viet Nam. What amazing things he has been through, and with that experience, my family history became part of the history of two countries--Viet Nam and America. My father's heritage is also Jewish, but English. There is much to sort out, much to discover, but the history of our families is also the history of towns, villages, countries. How many people studied the bombing of Pearl Harbor in school actually have family who experienced it? How many people have family who went through life and death in concentration camps? How many people are teachers, and influence people every day? We are all connected by this thing called family, and in a wider sense, the history of the world. For those of us who are believers in Messiah, history becomes eternity when we help bring someone to the faith we hold dear.

    Lou, it is wonderful that you have this opportunity and understand its importance. You are blessed.
    3991 days ago
    What an awesome post!

    May you be blessed in this revelation; that this responsibility is a blessing to treasure and share. I have been there too. Resenting my siblings for not taking a more active role in helping my parents in their old age, but ya know - it dawned on me quite a few years ago - it is their loss. I will always treasure the stories, items shared from my parent's families,ect. My children will always remember things shared as well.

    God bless you!

    3991 days ago
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