Friday, January 12, 2007

A Comment on a Comment

This morning I read this anonymous comment left on my blog and felt I needed to comment on it. I did write a comment in the comment section too but somehow I felt such an ache for the person that wrote it that I wanted to say more to them and everyone about how family is a treasure.
I felt sad as thought they were missing something good about family life.
I wanted to share with them that what they see as a complaint from me is just a longing, longing to have loved ones all near, meaning in the same state at least !
If anyone has read my blog for very long they should know my feelings on the effect of families being scattered. Its not a possitive for folks to be without extended family when there is love there. To share work, times together, a sense of community, meals on holidays, caring for one another in time of need. To think and live beyond just yourself.
I feel so incredibly blessed by being raised in a family where aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparent, and great grandparents were all very close. I played with my cousins, my grandparents lived with us. My aunt and uncles homes were just extensions of my own. Every summer I went on vacation with my Uncle and Aunt and loved every minute of it. I miss that so much. We even have a email list for our family, so we can keep in touch daily. My husband often says he wishes he had the same connections with his family.
When Emery and I had to move away for a job, it was heartbreaking. I missed my family so much, missed the connections. We would have never left except for the job part and even to this day, 2 decades later, my family still says things like, " I wish you still lived here" and if they didn't say that, well I would wonder why not. It wasn't felt as pressure, just as love....I am glad they miss me.
The love of a family is a good thing. It is what has bound people together for centuries. I watch with such joy the way the families all work together in the Mennonite church and how families are always missing the ones not near by. Making frequent trips to see each other.
There is hardly a day that goes by that Melissa and I don't talk on the phone, and not by me hounding he. She complains to me that I need to call more. My children know full well and complain about that I let them call me so I am not interfering. They know I am not all that busy but I do know they are. In almost every single call she says how much she and James miss Texas and want to come back. You, dear anonymous would not know that and I sure can't fault you for not knowing my family.
I am not justifying my "complaining" as you call it, just explaining love a bit, it seems you don't have that same sort of connection with your family or would not have made such a comment.
My husband and I wish we did not have to move so far away from my family, but it had to do with a job, the cost of living etc in New England. We wanted a farm, and that would not happen in New England.
Our move was not about becoming independent and flying away. I still mourn that my daughters did not get to know my mother as I knew her. Family ties are wonderful things when love is present. We lived in the same state as my husbands family but they were not close emotionally. Being close in distance in that case was just an emptiness.
James and Melissa want to be back in Texas. And certainly make no bones about it.
They can afford to live here, they both love the state. They just need the right job to come back to. On their last visit, they both said it was so good to be "home".
I am wanting for them, the very thing they are telling me they want and yes oh yes, we miss them. Love is that way. It binds hearts. Being apart is the very theme of so many stories, its painful and not something desired unless you have a bunch of dysfunctional family. The healthy longing that goes with wishing you could all be together is just a part of love.

here is the comment that was left..........

"why do you complain so much about your other daughter living in New England? Aren't we supposed to give our children roots and wings? I think it is unfair to put that pressure on adult children who should feel free to live their own lives. Didn't you and your husband do the same when you left New England to settle permanently in the west??? "


Anonymous said...

There isn't a day that passes, that I don't wish my youngest daughter and her family lived closer, but I know, that isn't going to happen because of the job my son-in-law has. As a matter of fact, they live in Texas! Since Texas is where the oil fields are, that is where they will continue to live. We try to get together several times a year, and we bought a tiny cottage, for less than the cost of an SUV, near them. We don't get there as much as we'd like, due to my husband's work, but do manage as often as possible. It is a long way from where we live. Each time we part, my daughter and I cry. I respect that they live where the job is, but I sitll wish they lived closer.
I grew up near my grandparents, and I loved that. My kids didn't have that luxury, and consequently didn't get to know them like I knew my grandparents. That is sad. Famileis don't seem as connected anymore. Maybe that is why people are always "searching" for something in them that is missing.
I completely understand wishing your other daughter could move back to Texas.

Jacran Cottage said...

Boy do I understand this feeling of missing family and wishing they were closer. And in my case the distance was my doing!

My parents (Mum and step-dad) live in England. More than thirty years ago, when I was a bratty teenager who didn't understand, my Mum and Dad seperated and Dad came to Canada. Being a bratty teenager, not liking my step-dad, and bring fascinated with North American, when Dad asked me to come to live with him I did. He passed away in 1985 and now the only blood relative I have on this continent is my son. There's much more here but not for this comment.

My relationship with Mum is amazing now. There are days when I regret the decision that I made, but not many because I'd be miserable if I focussed on it too much. My son is here now so even if I wanted to go back to England I'd then be 3,000 miles away from my son. So I am where I am and that's OK.

Mum and I talk on the phone weekly. And we always tell each other we love and miss each other. And I never miss an opporunity to suggest she visit and she never misses an opportunity to suggest I go back home. There is no pressure at all, just lots and lots of love.

I completely understand your longing, Patty, and I understand your need to talk about it. I'm the same and as much. And I'd love to share in family time and family events, but it's not to be. But that's why we are going back to get married this year, my family will be there.

I sometimes dream of Mum and I living close enough for me to drop by for coffee I know it will never happen. But I'll continue to dream. I need that dream.

Now I miss my Mum!

Jackie in ON

Anonymous said...

I completly understand about giving your children roots and wings, but wanting them to move back to the same area as you is no harm! My goodness! Its not like you said, "I want them to live with me and control there every waking moment!" :) I have been so very blessed to grow up and live in the same "little-big" city of Omaha, Ne my whole life and are soo fortune to have our entire extended family here as well. There is one Aunt who lives on the border of Nebraska, but other than that they are all within 30 minutes of my home. I tend to take it for granted sometimes, but when reflecting, I thank our Lord that I have so many relatives near by.

Anonymous said...

I'm so behind reading blogs and I'm probably leaving my comment in the wrong place but I agree! I hate living away from my family. I think it should be criminal to move more than 2 hours from our families! :)

Judy L.

Anonymous said...

Patty, I'm just now reading this entry. We don't take family for granted cuz we've already lost 3 parents. It's sad because my kids have lost the reality of what grandparents are. I am not sure if you read my blog on Dec. 13 on *aprons* but I long for my Mom and Gma to be back. They taught me cooking, cleaning, canning .. but also things that matter like relationships and loving others & God. They both had the focus on living a simple life. I never hear you complaining.

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