Friday, August 10, 2007

These Are My People...

I recently returned from a vacation where I visited with my parents and 5 brothers and sisters and their families and attended a family reunion. My parents live in a small town in the mountains and because there are so many of us, most pitch tents all over their lawn and camp out. I used to do this until it became hard for me to get up off of the floor because I have bad knees, and I started staying in the local motel. A couple of other family members brought camping trailers this year. I actually loved sleeping in a tent - it gets pretty chilly at night - and I loved sleeping in the fresh air. What I didn't love is trying to share 1 1/2 bathrooms - and one shower - with 30+ people, so I continue to pay for the motel.

We all take turns cooking, which is quite a feat to cook for that many people. I always bring my own lawn chair, because if you "move your feet, you lose your seat". I think the first 5 days that I was there, every time I tried to go to the bathroom, it was occupied. Finally I would give up and get in the car and go down to my hotel (2 blocks away) so I could go to the bathroom there.

The amazing thing is that we pretty much all get along. Oh, there might still be some times when things get a little too frazzled. But this year, as I think back on all these vacations I realize that I not only love my family, but I have learned to live with them. I think this is quite an accomlishment. There is a saying that goes, "You can choose your friends, but not your family" or something like that. We look around for people who we enjoy being around so we can call them our friends. We can't do that with family, and sometimes families split up over some thing or another and never have contact with each other again. I think with family, you actually have to work at it. You already know your family's bad characteristics and frailties and they know yours. With friends you are always trying to put your good side forward - at least most of the time. Our family is a forever family. We are sealed together to still be a family in the next life. I don't think this means we all have to live in the same house together, or even on the same block (cloud?). But if we had to, I think it would be a nicer experience because we have spent so many summers together trying to get to know each other better.

The other great thing about families is they are always there for you. My parents know my past - they were there grounding me every step of the way. I'm sure they know - or suspect - every bad thing I've ever done. And I've done a lot. Before I went on vacation, my sister - who lives somewhat near my parents told me of a funny comment my mom made. She was at the 4th of July celebration in town and a man who recently moved back to town who was a teenager at the same time we were, came up to her and put his arm around her. He said, "Are you the rebellious daughter.....(can't remember the rest of his comment)" (I told my sister that he had been referring to me) My mom turned to him and said, "None of my children have ever been rebellious..." I just laughed when I heard that. I knew what she was saying because I am a mother. It doesn't matter what your children have ever done in the past - you still love them - and you really don't care what they have done - you just continually hope they will do better. You want them to be a better person than you were. If I could sit down and tell my kids what I have done in my life, they would be shocked, but they wouldn't benefit from me telling them.
I hope my kids are able to do what my brothers and sisters and I have done - get to know each other better.

4 comments:

Inside Stories said...

I wonder in a way if we do choose our families, if we were all friends before we came to earth. I hope we all do live in the same area some day, even if it's after death. And that we have more than 1 1/2 bathrooms and one shower when we do. :0)

Delirious said...

I was just thinking today that I get on some friend's nerves because they know me so well. But, just like family, they accept me anyway. The nice thing is that even though you see each other's faults, there is some comfort in knowing each other that well because you know what to expect.

As far as choosing our families, I was told in my PB (caution: Mormon initial alert :) that I chose my parents. I must have known them well enough to decide to choose them. :)

Oh, and if we have to live in heave with all of our family, including inlaws....it wouldn't be heaven then would it? :P I better atleast be a cloud that is a few hours away.

Delirious said...

ps...fill in all the missing letters...I can't type.

Inside Stories said...

Not being able to type is genetic, Delirious. Trust me on this one.