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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Family

When my big brother died, I called my oldest friend to tell her. Now, I've known this person forever and have always forgiven her the only child complex which colors almost everything she does and is.

This time, however ... hmm. She knew about problems that emerged while my dad was dying, problems between this brother's wife and my sister and I. And so, in response to hearing he'd died, she said "Well, now you're rid of that wife and you never have to see her again."

I didn't really respond at the time. But it was like a defining moment for me, a sudden flash which illuminated the huge and vast and impassable and gigantic gulf between me and this person I'd always called my oldest friend in the world. And I've thought about it almost every day since --- toying with it, tryig to determine the exact motivation behind the words, turning it over and over and over in my mind.

I've thought about it especially over the past few days. I've been spending a lot of time at MJ's and at the blogs of the people involved in the the Mom's Cancer series. I've thought about how messy and tragic all families are, and how those of us who ae truly fortunate are able to transcend all the fighting and manipulation and games which are a natural part of family, and how those of us who are lucky are able to move through and establish relationships grounded in the past, but bearing no resemblance to the past.

Those of us who are lucky are able to grow past how gorgeous we were --- and they were --- when we were 23 (who isn't gorgeous at 23?). We come to understand that there are things which are so much more important than the squabbles we had, and that there are things which are truly unforgiveable --- but not many.

An only child may not understand that rabbit kicking your brother when you're 8 hardly qualifies as fodder for lifelong grudges, or that it's to be expected that the young males in the house will lay in wait for the youngest sister with judo kicks and karate chops, and sometimes breaking the Monopoly board over a sibling's head really is the only reasonable response.

8 Comments:

At 2:18 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Nicely done.

There are so many intangibles in a family, memory webs that refuse to give us clarity, but that hold our hearts fast.

And friends.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Cookie said...

MJ, I just had to buy fat jeans.

Thanks to quitting smoking, I'm expanding!!! I'm kind of shocked!!! But I realized a day or so ago that I've been literlly stuffing myself into my jeans for a few months now --- and now there's too much to stuff. !

 
At 2:09 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Ha! Baby got back, look at it that way.

At least you are not an invalid who is taking medication which may cause "...sharp or crushing chest pain; sudden shortness of breath; sudden leg pain; sudden severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, or fainting;changes in vision; numbness of an arm or leg; slurred speech; one-sided weakness; sudden unexplained weight gain; change in amount of urine produced; severe or persistent stomach pain; vomit that looks like coffee grounds (that seems unusually bad!); black tarry stools, itching, reddened, swollen, blistered, painful, or peeling skin; yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark urine....difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness..."

Need I say more? Look on the bright side, you curvacious beauty, you. (-:

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Cookie said...

Oh my GAWD!!! That's a really distressing list, MJ. Do you feel alright?

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Yea, I'm a little out of it (-:
but no coffee-ground vomiting as yet!

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Cookie said...

Arrgh. :-( Well, that's good news, I suppose.

I'm sorry you're having to go through all this.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger MJ said...

by the way, I was snooping around the Mom's Cancer series this morning. Some great stuff there, thanks for the link!

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Cookie said...

I'll tell you a secret, but you can't tell anyone --- if you google "Mom's Cancer", you can access the comic strip through Google cache. !

It's an amazing series, really, truly, absolutely amazing. They completely deserve the award.

 

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