Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Family Relationships blog tour

This sweet boy is the youngest member of my family ...
my darling grandson David, who is 7 months old.

Today I'm participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We're celebrating the release of Therese Walsh's debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit The Muffin (http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html) to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit Therese's website (http://www.theresewalsh.com) to find out more about the author.

I was married to a man who kept me away from my family and friends for 10 years. It was a wall I thought would never be torn down. I felt trapped and I missed everyone so very much.
But, as fate would have it, we divorced and I immediately contacted my oldest sister to re-establish what I thought I had lost forever.
Why was she the first one I called?
Lori was the one person in my life who I always felt loved me and accepted me for who I was. My entire life, I felt like everyone considered me the black sheep of the family ... except for Lori. She never judged and stood up for me.
Lori was 9 years older than I. When I was born, she was like a second mother to me. I have pictures of her pushing me in my stroller. One of my fondest memories is when she took me to see my first movie in a real theater ... 101 Dalmations! I don't remember how old I was at the time, but because the movie premiered in 1961, I would have been about 6.
When I was about 9, Lori graduated high school and left for a stint in the Army. That meant her adult life was beginning and she soon married and began her own family.
Through it all, she was still my big sister and I loved her and missed her dearly.
When I first became involved in that controlling relationship, she gently tried to dissuade me. But, as most women know, the saying "Love is blind" sometimes turns out to be true. It truly broke my heart daily to not be able to call and talk to her for all those years.
Of course, we tried to make up for lost time once I was back in touch with my family. Sadly, I was to only have about another year and a half with my beloved sister. She died of leukemia in August 2001. It was a day none of us in the family will forget.
I share this story with you in the hopes that it will bring some inspiration to remind you that life sometimes does, indeed, throw you some curve balls now and then. That's why it is so very important to remain close to your family ... even if that isn't always the easiest thing to do.
I have two other sisters and my mother. They all live fairly close by (within an hour and a half drive) and yes, I do kick myself sometimes for not going to see them as often as I should. Unfortunately, life tends to get in the way. With busy work schedules and other obligations, there just doesn't always seem to be enough time to do everything we want.
But we really do need to make a list of priorities and stick to it.
I'm always telling my husband (yes, I remarried to a wonderful, considerate man) that he should take more time for his siblings. He lost his oldest brother a year and a half ago. This summer, we did get together for a family reunion with the majority of his family. Everyone had a grand time and did a lot of catching up.
But families shouldn't have to catch up. They should already know what's going on in each other's lives. But they don't and that's what I find so very sad.


rcponders said...

Hi Luanne, you were at my post earlier so I was coming by to see yours.
Your story hits home. The sister I wrote about was also in a controlling relationship. The guy forbade my parents to contact her and told my sister and her children that our family wanted nothing to do with them. They finally divorced under painful circumstances and my sister somehow gathered the courage to contact her family. I'm so glad she did, too. Not only for our relationship but because my parents are in their mid-eighties and I'm so glad they have their eldest child back in their lives.

Terri said...

Lovely post, Luanne. I'm sorry you lost your sister but I'm glad you were able to reconnect for a time.

LuAnn said...

Thanks rcponders and Terri for stopping by today! Your comments were certainly appreciated. This sure was a fun blog tour!