My Great Grandfather as a young boy with his brother and sisters and his parents. (You’ll notice the kids are barefoot, he didn’t have shoes until he was 10 years old.) Photo courtesy of Timothy Duckworth.
Since it is officially the Holiday Season, (and many of you have already spent the last few days with your family) today’s post is all about those crazy people who make up your family tree…
Whilst in Texas this Thanksgiving, I began a new tradition: every night I called my grandmother and requested a story from her past. She regaled me with tales of her childhood in Alabama, her twenties in Houston and her honeymoon in New Orleans. She’s my father’s mother and she lives in Houston. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years and we speak infrequently. We don’t often have too much to talk about. But her stories have given us a whole new common ground. Her history is my history, her stories are mine.
Just speaking to her every night has taught me a lot about family: how it’s never perfect, how when you look back, everyone’s as crazy as each other, how no matter how difficult you think you had it, that’s just what being a person is. There is no perfect family, no ‘normal’ relationship. Your parents probably had it worse than you.
This holiday season embrace it. Your family is your family. Do what you need to do: protect yourself from them, stand up to them, lie to them, be honest with them, but love them. I will forgive those fools anything. I will blame them for everything (in the privacy of my therapist’s office obviously). And I will be stuck with them for always.
I love them.