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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Family

I recently traveled back to the east coast (Indiana) to participate in a family reunion. I caught a red eye flight out of Los Angeles on a Friday night and returned that Sunday afternoon. As you can imagine, I was exhausted! The flight and subsequent lay overs allowed me to ponder on family issues. I come from a "old" American family. Established here in America in 1733. The family lineage includes everything from doctors to farmers and Annie Oakley. With a strong history of "Dunkards" or German Baptist, the family is very conservative to say the least. I have not seen most of this side for over thirty years. You can imagine the strong urge to ponder that welled up in me as I went from crazy L.A. to small town America. Fond memories of my childhood came rushing back as though it all occurred yesterday. Wow, 30 years, where has the time gone?

As I pondered, my mind traveled through issues such as: awareness of lineage, genetics, family history, the perceived righteousness of the family name, my ancestors, and my descendants. How do we pass on our family's history, or more important how do we make it valuable to our children? I also have to ask, is it really important that we do so? Today the number one Hobbie , or so I am told, is genealogy. Many people are digging into this dynamic trail of family history. What are we looking for? Truth? I am proud of my history! My family has seen and been apart of every armed conflict this country has had! We have grown and spread out across the greatest country to ever exist in the history of mankind. Living on the west coast and looking at how things have turned out, I ask myself "so what?" But the exposure to the small town culture once again gave me hope. People still close the doors on Sunday and the whole town still goes to church. People still pray at family dinners, and the family is present.

I know I shocked my family, showing up with tattoos and drinking a beer (1) was a lot for them to digest. Good thing I did not break out the cigars and light up. But, to be honest, it was all like a breath of fresh air for me, I enjoyed the peacefulness that surrounded this small place. For the first time in years I slept through the night. No waking up to "clear" my house. No worrying about some intruder threatening my family. It was wonderful. Coming back to the "big city" made me think about the families here. The ones that do not eat together, nor really see or know each other. We run and run through our lives caught up in the pursuit of happiness but never reaching such an elusive concept. We take risk to gain something never really grasping that to grasp that what we race for all we need to do is stop racing. Slow down and enjoy each other everyday, every minute. For the first time in my life I saw a 94 year old man having a quality life. Sharing great moments with his grandchildren and great grand nieces and nephews. I thought those times had passed just like I had thought peaceful towns had been dismissed to the history books.

Our ties to our families, and the importance of keeping them alive just maybe correlated to the peace that exists in such places.

2 comments:

fatnlazy said...

I think more then truth, we are looking to belong, a sense of "roots". Gangs come to mind. Even as twisted as they are, it is a family of sorts.

Talking Bear said...

FNL, Well put! COuld one state that belonging and truth are related? Do we not feel like we belong when we feel a realtionship is based on truth? Honesty, transparent, and so on...!

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