Today I'm participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women on Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We're celebrating the release of Therese Walsh's debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost they were teenagers. Visit the Muffin www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit www.theresewalsh.com to find out more about the author.
I'm sitting here, starring at a blank screen. Family relationships, Family Relationships, FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS.
You'd think, with a family like mine, I could easily write a million words. There was a time when I could, without really trying. There will be, I'm sure, a time like that again.
But for now, I'm pretty much at peace with my family relationships. That peace has come at a price and with a great deal of prayer and tears -- but, for now, it's a good place.
I spent a good portion of life wishing my family was different. I wished Shirley Jones was my step mother. I wish my step father didn't drink. I wanted my mother not to cry. My father not to withdraw. I wanted my siblings to be a few years older instead of decades. I wanted my younger brother to be sober.
But they are none of the those things. And while I wasted a lot of time wishing things were different, I'm grateful the realities made me who I am. Blessed by the love lavished upon me, despite the circumstances.
I gave up trying to help. While occasionally write a check to someone who probably won't use the money for it's intended purpose, I actually try to stay out of the drama my family loves to create. I don't bend over backwards for anybody very often. I try to say Hello when I'm in town, but I don't rearrange my schedule to accommodate anybody else. These beloved souls with whom I share genetics are intelligent and funny, compassionate and kind -- and each carries enough baggage to fill a freight liner. For most, those suitcases loaded with shame, guilt, worry and the occasional addiction are too heavy for me to carry. They choose to pack it around...and I can't change their choices. All I can do is love these people for who they are...pray for them and offer unconditional love. I cannot make their world a better place. That's up to them.
I also have a large family of choice. The people I love with or without genetic markers. They hold me up when I falter and lift me even higher when I succeed. They don't question who I am or my intentions -- they wrap me in unconditional love and keep me warm and safe on a stormy night.
I'm not a saint. I carry my own set of proverbial luggage, but I know my family is who I choose it to be -- and my relationships with those people are a gift from God. I can spend time wishing away the problems or be blessed by what I have and find peace in our shared existence.
I choose peace.