I am not sure who invented throwback Thursdays however, I believe everyday should be a day of reflection to help us all move forward. Without reflection, it ‘s hard to see or remember where we once were and how we got to where we are today. The reality is we don’t do it alone. We didn’t come into this world alone, although some people choose to believe they did, and we should not leave this world alone without a legacy.
Whether or not your entrance into the world was a grand event as depicted in the story books and the romance movies, when we were delivered we were touched by at least one other human being, our mother. Sadly, in some cases, a mother is just a birther. Whether pregnant by choice or chance your birth mother may not be capable of raising you, nurturing you, and loving you as described in voices of society. As hurtful as that may have been or is for you, it most likely had not been a comfortable life’s journey for her as well.
I happen to be one of the blessed individuals that were born to a mother and father who not only loved me and wanted my brothers and me; my mom wrapped her arms around many of our friends and her friend’s children. My mother cradled her grandchildren and in her senior years spent many hours cradling and loving ‘crack’ babies because their own mother could not (at least at that given time.)
There were times when I was growing up, and for one reason or another I felt unloved, and I would lash out at my parents saying, “I must be adopted, you don’t love me like Gary or Joel!” But the reality of life is my mother loved us equally but showed it differently as did my dad. They had different relationships with each of us, but they spelled L O V E even when it H U R T.
Looking back helps me prevent making some of the mistakes I think my parents made or repeat some of the wisdom they shared with me. Although times have changed the practice of parenting and family is essentially the same.
Looking back on my journey prevents me from being cynical and allows me to open my heart to others that may not have had the family opportunities I have had. When I speak of opportunities, I am not referring to a big fancy house or luxury family vacations. In fact, when many of my friend’s families joined “the” Country Club, my family bought a $1 membership to Sandy Beach, and that was our Country Club. Did I feel deprived? Yes, a little. But, I soon got over it, because my family had fun at the beach and we would stop at Richard’s Drive-in on the way home for chicken in the basket for dinner.
My parents were great teachers as were my aunts and uncles and grandparents and baube and zayde. Each one of my extended family members brought knowledge to the circle of life. We never felt alone; there was always someone close by, just a phone call away, if not a street or two away. In fact, growing up I thought I would meet a nice young man and get married and live in the same neighborhood as my parents. However, by the time I was in my twenties and dating times were changing as was my journey in life.
Until my twenties, I lived a very close-knit family life. Holidays were with family (even when we lived in Minneapolis.) When you put twenty, thirty family members together it can get deafening, and at times argumentative but the underlying tone was love. It was always like that famous quote, “never go to bed angry,” we never left a family Simcha, event angry. (Now that’s not to say we didn’t leave a little frustrated with one another!)
Since my mother had her stroke in August and passed away in October, I have been very sensitive to remembering my past and memories not only I recreated with my family, but the memories my family created that have molded the path for me and my boys. We are all on a journey and no matter what our dreams are we come to detours, and dead ends and obstacles along the way, however, if we use the knowledge that has been passed on to us we can achieve our dreams one step at a time.
In honor of Thursday and every day of the week L’Chaim – my parents gave me life, and I will make them proud of how I live my journey!
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