Thursday, November 29, 2007

Part of the Family

I remember when I was young that my dad used to say that his family considered us as, what we call today, "poor white trash" because we lived in the country and farmed. I don't think that was exactly the case, but I do see how he would think that way. He and his family would always get into arguments when they got together, but that was just their way, and his brothers and sisters were really closer than someone might think who was meeting them for the first time. I think his feelings probably came from some of his nieces and nephews, some of whom acted like they were descendants of Austrian aristocracy instead of the hard working laborers who were our forefathers.

My dad was like me, or rather, I am like he was, because I've felt estranged from my family since I got married. The closeness we had seems to have cooled over the years since mom died, and since her death and my marriage happened simultaneously it has seemed like my family shut me out, although the truth is that we all got busy and just don't communicate anymore. The fact that I'm not a very forward person - my father was the same way- means that I'm not one to initiate a lot of contact with the family, further adding to the separation I sometimes feel from them. While not the same circumstances as my dad, and certainly the times are different now, I know how he felt back then, and how lonely it was for him. Maybe that was one reason he and mom had so many children, to have a family where he would have no doubts that he was truly needed and wanted, the way that I have that feeling in my own family.

When dad got a little older, after his mother and two of his siblings died, his attitude changed when he was around his family. It was like they all remembered the early days when they were children... remembered who they were and where they came from. They all remembered that they were family.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

Hope you're having a good Friday! The ending of your post made me so sad -- it's lovely and artful! I'm glad for my sister, my only family. As for being poor white trash, we were -- anyone like me who actually remembers frying bologna can't really escape that past.

8:58 AM  

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