Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lasting Impressions

My son's girlfriend has not had a very good relationship with her mother for most of her life. Her parents are divorced, mainly due to her mother's lifestyle. They have never been close. On the contrary, she has suffered constant criticisms, unfair treatment and been on the unreceiving end of favoritism among her siblings. My wife has been more of a mother in the past couple of years.

About a week ago, T___'s mother invited her to go out for lunch with her. It was a very cordial, even enjoyable time. During they lunch, her mother broke the news that she has spots on her lungs, very definitely cancer, and her remaining kidney has ceased functioning. The prognosis is pretty certain as to the outcome, just not any specific time. She's not looking for a kidney donor, for those who might suspect the worst, like me.

I said, "T____, do you think she is facing eternity and has decided to atone for past misdeeds, attempt to have the relationship you should have had?

T___, "Yes, I think she's sincere in trying to make amends."

Perhaps the past twenty years can never be erased, but perhaps if the next indeterminate number of months are what they should be, that will be the memory she has of her mother after she is gone.

Maybe we ought to treat everyone as if we are leaving soon....just in case.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Family Reunion

I just returned from our annual family reunion. We did the traditional things..for our family. We camped in tents around the house, got rained on, shopped at the Indian store and visited a lot.

All of my siblings were there and many of the nieces and nephews. I really missed seing those that weren't. Many were unable to come for a variety of reasons including illness, pregnancy, money and distance. Some don't come because they don't like the "advice" they are given. Come to think of it, some that did come don't like the "advice" they get, but we all enjoy just being together.

We went fishing some, but the rain, though much needed, put quite a damper on that activity, so we did the most what we do the best..we sat around and visited. I really enjoy that more than almost anything else we do. I have promised myself that next year I am bringing a digital recorder to make sure I don't miss anything. My mother told me several stories about ancestors that I'm not sure are written down somewhere. Then again, even if they are written down, I'm not sure I could find where.

We even got Dad to talk a tiny bit about his family. I badger him each year to write as much as he can about his parents, grandparents, etc. He says he will, but I have as yet to see it done.

With all the visiting, hugging, laughing and such that we did, we are all a little closer together. The family stories bring those to the circle who aren't around anymore except in spirit. To me that is the whole reason to have these reunions.

I can't wait till next year.