Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Work of Art

There's no doubt about it.  Families are interesting works of art.

I could have said "families are a real piece of work" and that may sound just as true to you, however lately I have been looking at my family with clearer vision and I would have to say that they are definitely a "work of art".

The very role that each of my family members has played in my life has been nothing short of miraculous to be honest.

I was remembering my dad the other night, just out of the blue his image popped into my head.  I was a young girl in this image and I was looking at my dad in adoration.  I truly believed he was a hero.  In his earth story he was an alcoholic with what seemed little time for his family.  What I saw in my image was a man who was doing the best he could with what he had at the time, he loved us deeply and his addiction got in the way.  Nevertheless, as a young girl this man was a hero, strong and nurturing.  Thankfully I got to see this strong and nurturing side as an adult when he walked away from his addiction to start fresh.  

My mother.  Our relationship has never been an easy one (name one daughter who has ever NOT had conflict with her mother) and at the moment seems to be dangling dangerously from an invisible thread.  As a child I remember feeling my mother wasn't so happy.  Not completely sure in whether she belonged where she was standing.  What I saw in my image was a woman with dreams and desires, amazed at how quickly they were forgotten beneath a pile of laundry and a house full of kids to feed.  I do remember, much like me, she struggled with being a stay at home mom and working outside the home to contribute financially.
To be honest I most likely wouldn't be a stay at home mom if it wasn't for my mother, she was who I wanted to be.  The person who kissed the kids as they left for school and welcomed them home at the end of the day, the person who gathered everyone to the dinner table to spend quality time together.

My little sister.  Our relationship is most likely the truest form of love/hate you will ever see.  I think this is true for most sisters actually.  Growing up we fought constantly about clothes, hair, music and breathing (much like my own children do today).  As adults we do a great job of getting on eachother's nerves.  I like to think she had a hand at teaching me to stand up for myself and toughen up, back then she was one of the toughest people I knew, I was scared shitless of her too!  It seemed she hated everything about me until I would find that she was borrowing my clothes and then I realized there may have been a piece of her (buried somewhere deep inside) that actually liked me.  Maybe she just liked my clothes, I like to think my clothes symbolized me...  Please don't burst my bubble.

My little brother.  He came into my life when I was around 11.  My parents had been fostering children for years and decided to adopt.  I won't forget the day I met him or the day he left our lives.  Brothers are very different than sisters.  From the very beginning of our time together I felt this strange need to nurture and protect him.  Maybe because I knew he was fragile and would need some guidance, I call this "big sister syndrome" I seemed all too eager to "save" people from themselves in the good old days.  My brother taught me compassion and in the end offered me an opportunity I couldn't resist.  To live my talk.

My 1/2 brother and I have a different kind of relationship.  He is 20 years younger than I am, came into my life as I was having my own children and so I assumed a more distant role in his life since I was busy raising my children.  I hazard to guess he's never been thrilled with my presence when I was around, since I was usually trying to parent him.  I regret that now.  What he needed was a big sister, not another parent.  2 of those is ALWAYS enough!

I've come to realize that as much as we've had our difficulties, our ups and downs, ins and outs, each person plays their part extremely well, each like a color spread across canvas, each one lending a different perspective and depth to the piece.  Without each color blending into the next I wouldn't be who I am, all of them blended together 

Like I said families are a work of art.


  1. Wow, hate to burst your bubble!!! Make up your mind, one blog your mother was the worst mother on earth, the other blog your brother was well "beyond saving" you had the worst childhood imaginable and blamed your family for that and now you write this crap about how these awful people have made such a beautiful piece of art.... and I feel most sorry for the your "1/2" brother who you felt was important to point out he is your "1/2" brother....I'm sure you're right about the fact that he didn't miss your presence!!! You only need one mother, it is not your role to play for someone else's child. I can see you are writing from a different mind set than you have previously, obviously you have alot further to go!

  2. I notice that you like to quote celebrities....I hope you watched Oprah today with the Judd' and daughter! YOU CAN'T BLAME YOUR MOTHER AFTER THE AGE OF 35!!!! Next quote "Therapy doesn't mean looking at your life and mistakes and blaming it all on your mother!!" "Oprah"

  3. I don't watch much television these days so I missed the show. I believe we can't blame our mothers (or anyone else for that matter) for anything....ever. My mother and my relationship with her throughout the years is exactly why I am where I am today. She has inspired me to parent my children as effectively as I know how.
    Thanks for sharing those quotes with me ;)


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