"Family Matters"

The Nuclear Family. What an incredible alliance! Fathers, mothers and their children. Everyone has a family or had one. My sympathy to those who may have been orphaned or never knew your parents or siblings, for the time spent with family is precious. I can only hope that you became a member of a family who raised you as one of their own.

I look at my family and see my life partner of 38 years, my lovely  wife, who has stayed  with me through some extremely rough times and never given up on me. She is still here by the grace of God, after a battle with cancer, bursting with life! Always giving, always looking out for the welfare of her family, friends and even strangers. A truly remarkable  woman of purpose, whom I love dearly.

I see my three children, young adults making their way through life. Each successful in their own way. Each equally loved by their mother and I. Two have had the good fortune to meet and marry  wonderful, patient, life partners, who thankfully can tolerate the traits of our gene pool.  And my youngest  who has found, the person I believe to be his future life partner. You are all truly fortunate. Not everyone is lucky enough to find that special someone.

My daughter, the eldest of my children, a beautiful young woman and an incredible person, working hard at being a good  wife, mother and teacher. She has accomplished so much already.  I see her on the precipice of some major life changing event, very close to becoming, by that I mean she is nearly in touch with her true nature, her inner being, her true sense of self. I sense that it is within her grasp. Inner peace.

I look at my eldest son and see a young man striving for success, a hard working individual, husband and father. A young man who isn’t afraid to tackle a job, always  willing to learn and do   whatever it takes to be successful.  A young man who has become more comfortable with who he is and what he feels. A man on the “road to find out,” moving forward, making his way through life.

I see my youngest son, college behind him, gainfully employed doing exactly what he set out to do as an IT for Kaiser-Permanente, beginning his journey. A young man filled with the hopes, dreams, wonder and fears we all had at twenty-three. A young man whose already proven himself to be a very level-headed, honest and compassionate person. A man with a plan and now a house! So optimistic and self assured. He’s definitely got what it takes to make it in this crazy world of ours.

I’m sure my wife would agree with me when I say that our children are our greatest accomplishments in life!  I thank God for blessing us with them. I’m so thankful He did.

And as I look at my children I can see bits and pieces of myself in their ways and attitudes, but it is my oldest son who reminds me most of myself as a young man. The dreams, struggles, anger and uncertainties he has faced are similar to what I experienced. Neither of us had the good sense to heed the advice of others, preferring instead to make choices which resulted in having to learn things the hard way. We both have taken our lumps in the real world. My other two children are quite alike, they tend to listen, evaluate and then make an informed decision on  what action to take. They have a “think before you leap” philosophy, while my eldest son and I have more of a “leap first, think later” mentality. Oh well, we all have our own paths to follow.

My family, I’m so proud of them. I love them without measure. Oh, it isn’t always easy, believe me, we have our moments. But what would you expect, from five idiosyncratic individuals.  Obviously we don’t always see eye to eye, but no matter what the problem, we manage to find a way to work through things and move on, because that’s what families do, and we are family!


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