Family is such a precious thing. I wish, at times, I was a better father, that my sons would listen to me closer, because I have so many things I want them to know and understand before I die. So many things I want to be able to say to them so that they KNOW.
I have always told my sons to treat each other with love, kindness and understanding. I have tried to make that the way they treat and deal with everybody. I have tried to make them understand that a time will come when all they will have left, is each other. Brothers. And in the times that come when they need to be able to reach out and turn to someone for help, for guidance, for understanding, the first one they should look to, should be a brother. Because they are FAMILY. And family is always first.
My father's family is now largely gone. I have a few cousins I haven't seen since we were kids, but everyone else is gone. But Mom's (Grannie) family is large and vital and growing and I am a virtual stranger to almost all of them, anymore.
Mom's brothers (4) had kids, my cousins. My cousin D and her husband Bu, who I've written about before, live not far away and D sees Grannie regularly. Other than D, I don't see any of my extended family regularly. There are cousins on Mom's side of the family I've never even met.
For someone who feels as strongly as I do about family and 'connections' and about how important it is to have a feeling of 'place' in the world and how family gives you that, I have done a very poor job of helping to hold my family together.
Grannie is the last of her brood. All of her brothers have been gone a long time, now. She is at the 'top of the tree', if you will. When she is gone, D will hold her family together, because she's good, really good about stuff like that. She is such a sweet heart. Two words. On purpose.
But it's my other cousins. The ones I used to see growing up. The ones that are scattered all over hell and creation. They and their families should be part of the larger extended family. And they're not and haven't been for a long time. And I feel guilty. Like a hypocrite. I preach the value of family and yet I don't do as I preach.
I am the son of the oldest living member of the family that gave rise to a lot of really great people. Do they need me? Do they need to have their feeling of place expanded to include the whole family? I am failing in some duty if I don't pull them all together? And why is this so on my mind lately? And why do I feel guilty?
Now on to other business. I'm not going to link back to her comment, but yesterday, the lovely, erudite and obviously psychic witchypoo suggested that I need to carry a 'man's purse'. I actually do carry a manbag. It was during an experiment, on my part, meant to reduce the need to carry that bag, that I lost the keys and the gift card. Mentioned in yesterday's post - and no, I'm not linking. Anyway, I promised witchypoo (I keep typing witchpoo and it's REALLY frustrating because one of these days I'm not going to catch it before it gets published and when that happens, I'm going to catch it. So to speak.) that I would put up a photo of the manbag - so here it is. On my person. In action, so to speak.
Now, before you go off and tell me how big that thing is, I have to tell you that the picture was taken with my phone and the bag is really kinda close to the camera. So it looks big. Like my gut. But like everything else, it's not as big as you think. (right shoulder angel - "You know you shouldn't tease like that. It's not nice." left shoulder devil - "Aw, go ahead, they won't even notice.") The right shoulder guy needs to remember I'm left handed.