The time with these not-immediate-but-much-loved family members naturally makes me think of the odd mish-mash of personalities that comprise a “family.” When my kiddos are bickering with each other, I tell them they need to learn to get along because they’re family. And because they will spend the rest of their lives with people they may not necessarily mesh with. Co-workers, roommates, spouses… Learning to get along is part of living in society. Learning to get along and love the other person is part of being in a family.
Which reminds me of my own family. I’ve kicked a couple mother figures out of my life over the years, and that action might be unconscionable to some. It was necessary for my mental and emotional well-being, but it also puts me in a somewhat unique frame of mind where my writing is concerned. I recently sent a short story to my critique partner, who commented that my heroine—who had fallen into an alternate universe—should be freaking out about her family. Did they know she was gone, how worried was her mom that she was missing, how much would she miss them if she could never go back…
Huh. That aspect never crossed my mind. Maybe because to do so would be detrimental to keeping my story a “short” story. But probably because of my unusual family situation. I don’t consider my parents in relation to my own life; it doesn’t occur to me to consider family in relation to my written characters.
Which is sad, I know. And definitely something I need to work on.
Memorial Day was also about honoring those military people and families who have sacrificed so I can enjoy a cookout with my East Coast family. While my family was spending time together, hubby’s older brother was elsewhere in the country, lamenting the loss of his brothers-in-arms. Of those men and women he had fought beside, only a few had made it back home alive. Those who did (himself included), now suffer the guilt of surviving in addition to the trauma of their battle experience. When we express our gratitude for those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms of our country, we’re not just talking those who died or were physically injured. I am thankful to ALL our service men and women...former, current, and future. It is truly a calling.
So, my random thoughts for the week aren’t all that uplifting, but they’ve been circling in my brain and needed expressing. How was your Memorial Day weekend?