Family Ties

Grandchildren. Orthopedic surgery. Arthritis. Cancer. Cholesterol. That’s what we talked about this weekend at my husband’s sibling reunion, while we took lazy boat rides, and sat around the dinner table long after the food was gone. The topics are different from many years ago, but the people are the same.

Playing Yahtzee. Drinking beer around the campfire. Staying up way later than usual for cribbage bragging rights. Eating food made from favorite family recipes. We had chopped bologna, Special K bars,  and hobo pies – old standards for my husband’s family. If it was my family,the nostalgia food would have been homemade potato salad, Polish sausage and Jello.

So many families today are fractured, dysfunctional, broken. My husband and I were lucky to grow up when family life was honored and cherished. We had Sundays at Grandma’s house after church, cookies and milk with our moms at the kitchen table after school, and family dinner every single night. There was no late night sports practice, soccer games, or working on Sundays to interrupt these traditions. To miss dinner with the family was unheard of. And miss church on Sunday? Don’t even think about it.

Our family glue is gone – both sets of parents have passed away. All we have left to hold our families together are each other. The people we fought with over riding shotgun, slept alongside of on sultry summer nights, and covered for when they stayed out past curfew. These people. Our siblings.

We cherish them. We hold dear our time together. Someday, we’ll be the aging parents. We’ll sit in front rows at funerals, while grown-up grandchildren help us with our canes and hush us for talking so loud. We’ll count off who is gone, who is left. We’ll tell quaint childhood stories over and over, but not remember what we ate for breakfast. But I hope we will always remember them, our siblings.

© Huffygirl 2012

(Special thanks to MSB for the photos.)

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20 thoughts on “Family Ties

  1. Beautiful post, HG. I grew up in a family like that, too. Only my brother and I are left now, and thankfully, we leave only two hours apart and spend a lot of time together. Your description is fabulous.

  2. A lovely post. And yes, it’s so hard for families raising children now, with so many activities – all of which think they should have first claim on the kids’ time, and if you don’t give in you’re obviously a terrible parent. (No matter what else you want to give priority to; God forbid you should put family time or church ahead of sports.)

    • Thanks Sharon. I really wonder how young families manage today with so many pulls on their time. I was never athletic as a child, and there weren’t any sports for girls anyway. But back then, even the boy’s sports practices ended in time to get them home for dinner.

      With my own kids, if they had an after school or evening practice, we either waited for them for dinner, or sat down with them while they ate later, so we didn’t miss that time together.

  3. Siblings are forever! (GK kept telling me what a good writer you are. I told him I already knew that.)
    I love you.

  4. I love this blog – we had such a nice time with all of you. We are very lucky to have a family that will never be fractured, as so many are. We are looking forarward to our next reunion in Lexington in December.

    • Thanks Dee, we had a great time too. The warm fuzzy family feeling inspired me to write this post. We are lucky to have the families that we grew up with, and the one we married into. Onward to Lexington, and many more family reunions after, I hope.

    • Thanks Lisa, I hope we can. We still have a closet full of old-fashioned board games at our house – no batteries required. Someday when our grandchildren are old enough to play them, they’ll think of us as “quaint.”

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