Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Family Reunion

March 16, 2008

I arrived at my aunt’s house in Glasgow for a family reunion, of sorts.  The whole family wasn’t there, but it was crowded enough.  My brother had found me in London and told me about it.  I’d been working on a movie, which was exhausting, so I figured I could use a getaway and some relaxation.  I must have been exhausted, because I’d forgotten that the words ‘family’ and ‘relaxation’ were incongruous.

Besides my brother, there was my sister and her husband, their daughter, a couple of cousins and their spouses, their mother, and my older cousin’s daughter.  Those were just the ones visiting from Canada.  We were all staying in my aunt and uncle’s house.  Then there was all of their children and grandchildren who were there most of the time, as well as other occasional visitors that weekend.  I’d have left the keys with someone and told them to call me when they’re clearing out.

Despite the chaos, it was nice to see my siblings and cousins after many years.  We talked and filled in some of the gap.  At some point on the first day, we Canadians were on our own and somebody told me that one of my Scottish cousins’ son, whom I had met for the first time a little earlier, was basically a sociopath.  His mother took a liking to me that weekend, and it was mutual.  I would have found it difficult to not like her.  Although she appeared to suffer from low self-esteem and, possibly, occasional depression, she had a lovable quality about her.  Maybe a need to be loved, too.

I thought back to the last time I had been in that house.  I recalled a late night conversation with my aunt years earlier.  She talked about her pregnant teenage daughter.  There are some words spoken that you just never forget.  They leave a mark.  They affect you.  They inform you about the world around you and become integral to who you are.  She said, “She made a mistake and now she has to pay for it.”  I grew at that moment.  If that’s the way that kid is going to be raised, I thought, what chance does he have?  If he’s going to be treated or made to feel like a punishment from god, what hope is there for him?

Now, I remembered why I hadn’t been back up to Glasgow since then.  I also remembered why I hadn’t been back to Canada to see my family.  This Catholic christian attitude that seemed to come with the territory was annoying, off-putting, and even offensive.  This kid, who was raised in an environment that considered him something dirty, was now being described as a sociopath and the description did seem to fit.

If he didn’t seem to care about other people, I was told there was one exception.  Before returning to London, I had another one on one talk with my aunt.  This time, she talked about her grandson, the sociopath.  She said that only she could get to him or tell him what to do.  She is the only one he’ll listen to.  Only she could teach him right from wrong.  The same person who created the idea that he was a punishment from god was now his only salvation.

My aunt can be a nice lady, but she is a personification and microcosm of her faith.  By being that, she seems to have undermined her own daughter’s self-worth and manipulated her grandson.  It’s no wonder my very likeable cousin seemed to need love.

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I’m So Excited… By Statistics

January 6, 2008

Have you seen the chart?  It’s a hell of a start!  This could be made into a monster if we all pull together as a team!

Apologies to Pink Floyd for borrowing their lyrics but they happen to fit.  Just three days and three posts into this project and I’ve already had eight readers.  Actual readers!  Registered eyeballs.  I’M AN AUTHOR!  And the graph!  A beautiful upward curve.  If I was an investment advisor I’d rate me a solid ‘Buy’.  I may not be riding the gravy train yet, folks, but get your shares in this now while you can.  This is a ground floor opportunity not to be missed.  At no point will the growth curve be longer.

I haven’t even tried to link to any other sites or resources, yet.  I’ll have to look into that to see if I can really get things going.  But people are finding me, anyway.  If the ‘spam’-marked comment can be believed, someone has even bookmarked me.  That means they intend to come back and read me again.  A fan!  A devoted follower!  A repeat customer!  Someone likes what I have to say and how I say it.  I matter.

One of the great things about blogs is the insight they offer into the minds of others.  From a safe distance we can offer up and observe views and opinions that would otherwise be difficult to share in most face to face situations.  You can’t tell people what you really think at work because it wouldn’t contribute to a constructive and efficient environment.  You can’t do it while socialising without running the risk of offending someone or being asked to lighten up.  And, if your family is anything like mine, you can’t even talk openly with them without an argument erupting.  How five siblings could all be so different is a mystery to me.  It’s like we all grew up in different houses.  If your family isn’t like mine, consider yourself lucky and know that at least one person envies you.

 In order to function, we have to live in a neutral world.  Bland.  Beige.  But a functional life is not enough.  There is ‘I am’.  Then there is ‘I am someone’.  By spewing words onto the screen and a file stored on some server somewhere, some unseen, insignificant nobody becomes somebody again.