As many of you may know I have just lost a part of my immediate family. My brother-in law (sans the in-law), Bob Twidle.
Yesterday my sister Sharon, Bob’s wife, came over and picked up my wife Heather who is going to stay with her for a couple of days, to help her entertain all the people who will be coming by to pay their respects and do all the other stuff that needs to be done when something like this occurs.
I am peaking with my mid winter-cold and had to stay home or I would be there with bells on.
Just Me & My Thinking Cap
Of course, this solitude was welcome, not just in aid of being able to rest and get over the cold, but to think a bit about my brother who I loved and my sister who I love dearly.
One of the thoughts that naturally occurs around an event like this is the importance of family.
We Are Tribal & Our Family Is Tribe #1
Tribalism is probably one of those things that is built into our DNA. And our most important tribe are those who we are related to, either directly or indirectly by blood.
A family unit is one of those things that never seems to be the same way for two days running. Changes come and changes go. People love each other, they cherish each other and at the same time they can be angry as hell with each other and cause each other all kinds of pain.
How the families who manage to hang together over the long haul is one of the miracles of humanity. And it’s one of the miracles because so few ever really do.
I don’t know anyone who isn’t estranged from one family member or another. But on the other side of the coin, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t believe that family is the thing that comes first in the world.
It’s a very strange thing.
My immediate family is composed of my wife, my son and his wife and their two boys (The Fabulous Mur Bros), a daughter and her husband, my two sisters, and one husband, and brother and his wife, and my wife’s brother and his wife.
These are the people I am closest to in my life.
But within that unit there are people who should be there but are not. My sister and I are estranged from my mother and have been for 40 years. My son and daughter are in the process of healing up their relationship, I hope. My wife is estranged from her sister. My daughter was estranged from pretty much all of us for a while, but she’s back now.
It’s Never As Simple As It Looks
But it’s bound together with a single ingredient which is love.
This love, estrangement not withstanding, is a constant. This love can cause anger and frustration and sometimes even cruelty. But this love is always there at the bottom. Like the safety net you land on if you slip off the trapeze of life.
This love is the room that’s always there for kids to sleep in. This love is the ride to wherever anybody really needs to go. This love is the bail money, you get by hook or by crook. This love is the feeling you get when your family is all in one place together, just being with each other. Arguing or hugging, it doesn’t matter. It’s your tribe and as long as they are together, you know you feel complete.
The people who, for whatever reason, lose their family, are in my opinion, the loneliest people in the world. My heart goes out to them.
We Are All Under Pressure
In today’s ‘divide and conquer’ world there are so many forces working to divide us. Ideologically, by religion, by race, by ethnicity and by ‘have and have not’ standards.
And many people fall prey to these forces, all of which, at their root, are powered by hate and the need to make us dependent on a system and not each other.
The way you fight this starts in your own tribe.
By strengthening the bonds that hold you together. By making your love unconditional. But giving freely of yourselves and not expecting or demanding any sort of quid pro quo. By standing up for what is right and refusing to be manipulated into a belief you cannot put your heart into.
My family is down one person, but we know that his spirit will be with us till we are all in the same place. Because a family is the core energy unit of the universe.
I hope your family is well, and that everyone in it, regardless of their differences appreciates that it is their tribe. It is their strength and it is their primary source of love in this world.