Sunday, November 26, 2017

Family Trouble 2017

Two friends of mine, an aunt and her niece, come from a very large family--11 brothers and sisters.  Recently, when I asked them about their Thanksgiving plans, they told me that over 50 people would be coming, and that they would be cooking two large turkeys.  When I asked them if everyone got along, they looked at each other, then smiled, and the aunt said, "Mostly. We do fine."

I don't know how they do it. Our parents are fading, fragile, and under the constant decay of dementia, which is eroding away what little memory they have left.  Once they are gone, I'm not sure what will tie us siblings together. Taking the responsibility of their care has already caused large riffs between us, and as we've aged, the things that bothered us slightly 40 years ago are now huge issues that we can't talk about. There is anger, resentment, and in some cases, because of the current political climate, horrible exchanges on social media. And even within the close circle of our immediate family we have altercations that seem absurd, small things that blow up out of all proportion. I wish I knew the answers to making a family work, but I don't, and I worry that if we can't even work out our familial issues, then what hope do we have for running a country or a world.

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