Yesterday I was at the gym, a place I visit far too infrequently, when I overheard a conversation between two gentlemen of moderate age. Before you think I was eavesdropping, guys in a gym don't tend to share secrets as they pump iron, rather what they discuss they broadcast in semi-boisterous tones without regard, or sometimes with regard, for whether the nearby weight-lifters can listen in on the conversations. It doesn't matter whether it is politics, sex (a frequent subject) or, pertinent to my story tonight, family.
What really captured my attention was that they were talking about their sons. Having three myself, the subject is near and dear to my heart. Their sons were now grown. The men had both been divorced when their sons were young. The men related how they had gone through great difficulty with their sons, but with the passing of time, things were made right.
"Then he became a teenager and it got even worse. He got all angry, sullen, accusing me of ditching his momma when it was she that filed for divorce. Got to where he wouldn't even talk to me anymore, said he was too busy. I never really lost track of him, I just barely saw him. It became usual to where a few months would pass when I wouldn't see him. That became the way it was. So he drifted away from me.
"But now he's 22, a young man. He's got a good girlfriend. He's finished school. And he wants to hang out with me. Can you beat that? He wants to hang out with me. He was over the other day, I had my dad there too, and my son says to my dad, Grandpa, you raised a pretty good son. I got so choked up I gave him another beer."
Time passes, wounds heal, wisdom grows. At least it can.
Families are a fundamental reality, they are universal and their stories, our stories, are universal. Good or bad they are a treasure for they are the stuff from which our riches are made. There's a blog that's getting underway, The Twisted Family at http://www.thetwistedfamily.com/2011_01_01_archive.html It is about blended, no twisted, families, our families. Real people. Real stories. Our stories. Check it out.
Full disclosure: my wife writes it. Look out, she might write about our family from time to time. Enjoy.