Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Family reflections

This past weekend turned out to be surprisingly drama-free and fun.  I mean, I love my family, and I'm not saying I don't normally have fun seeing them, but having 5 siblings, divorced parents and a widowed grandmother who doesn't always remember what you just said 5 minutes ago often makes my time with them more interesting and fast-paced than fun and relaxing.  Oh, let's face it, seeing my family is never relaxing.  It's just not.  Even when my mom watches my son in the morning so I can sleep in, or at night so I can go to bed early, it's not the same as sleeping in my own bed.  I can't lounge around in my pajamas, or waste any time, since my time there is always limited.  A typical visit consists of a 6 hour drive after my man gets off work, putting us in San Diego around 11 pm or midnight, getting up early that morning and having a long Saturday seeing as many people as I can, and leaving Sunday around noon.  That puts us home sometime around 6 pm or 7, which leaves us only a few hours of weekend before we have to go to bed and get ready for the week.  We really need to go to San Diego over long weekends so we can fit in a zoo or SeaWorld visit.  Sigh.

Anyway, I'm happy to say that my brother looks remarkably better than I expected.  I was told that his bedsore had become infected and that the infection had reached the bone, which is often deadly.  Needless to explain, I cried and imagined the worst.  People with spina bifida, the paraplegic condition my brother was born with, tend to have a shortened lifespan.  But, this time he's going to be okay.  He looked great, had already been discharged from the hospital, and says he feels fine.  I'm relieved.  I've been reflecting on my family and how lucky I am to have them all alive and still talking to me.  So many people don't have that.  

Mom and dad aren't perfect people, but they love and support me in whatever I want to do in life.  They're proud of me, despite my stumbles and flaws, and they've been there for me whenever I needed them.  It's cheesy, but heartwarming to think about.

I feel guilty about living a state away from my family.  I was raised to believe that family is everything, and being close to your family is more important than moving away to pursue a life elsewhere.  I mean, it was never outright said, but it was implied.  Whenever I talked about college in another city, mom got this sad look in her eyes and said, "Oh, but you'll be so far away then.  Do you really want to move away from all of us like that?"  More than that, everyone talked about living in California as though it wasn't possible to live anywhere else.  I admit, I would move back to coastal California in heartbeat if I could.  But I still wish my parents hadn't looked so disappointed when I moved.  I felt like I was betraying my loved ones by leaving.  Throughout college, I considered moving back to "help out" as my parents divorced, two of my siblings had kids, my parents lost the house, and my father had another kidney transplant.  But in the end, I think it was best for us all that I stayed here and finished my degree, married my love and started my family.  I wish I lived closer to them, and I'll try to make sure my son knows his relatives as well as he can, but I love having a separate life and doing my own thing.  Besides, I can always visit.

1 comment:

  1. I've always struggled with distance from family... first growing up far away from my dad and brother and sister, and now being away from mom and the little sisters. The good thing about distance is that when you ARE with your family, you treasure it more and never take it for granted. That's saying something because if you lived in the same state, I'm sure you'd tire of them occasionally :)