We all have dreams and aspirations. Everyone has a past, family, and a future if nothing else. It depends on the present as to how the future will shape up or even if the future will take shape at all. Some plan and plan for the future only to never see it while some achieve what they desire and still others, lose in the battle. People give up a lot for other people I've been told.
I know I've lost a lot over my lifetime with very few regrets. I told my brother awhile ago after we ended a war that waged over 30 years that I had come to terms with a lot of things. Now, I didn't think that would be an open invitation for him to call me every Sunday because the truce is just that, a truce. There is an arms distance there like there is with just about anyone in my life now. It use to not be that way but I guess years, wars, and people sometimes make one jaded. I look around me and see everyone else talking, laughing and interacting not only with their siblings, but their cousins, their kids and everyone else pretty much with the same last name as theirs.
I asked my daughter last night why she thought things weren't that way with my immediate family because my brothers and I haven't been all together in the same room in 25 years. The closest encounter was five years ago which turned disastrous. She looked at me and told me that we were the "Forrest Gump" of the family. The puzzled look on my face pretty much said that I hadn't a clue as to what she was talking about. I've been called many things in life but never Forrest Gump. She put her hand down on the seat next to her and said "you can't sit here." She then looked straight at me and said that's pretty much what the entire family was saying about myself and my brothers because my brothers and I barely talk and when we do, it's usually quick and simple.
Now this was a family that had cookouts at least twice a year with everyone in attendance from young to old and they were nothing short of spectacular on a warm summers day. Occasionally we ran into rough weather but even those were good times. Those days died off when the older generation who put them on started dying off. They stopped shortly after my father passed away with the exception of one final cookout for the creator of the cookouts shortly before he died at the farm he once owned.
Now, everyone is scattered about here and there with little communication even in our digital society. As I write this from my laptop computer, I'm listening to music through the headset from a streaming service. When I started out, there were no such things as blogs and a computer was almost a piece of furniture. I payed less than a third of what I payed for the original computer and it's more powerful than that by a hundred fold. What keeps a family together? What are the dreams that keeps people communicating and there when the tragedy's strike?
In the old days, the phone would ring, mom and dad would be out the door and on their way to assist another family member through their specific tragedy. There was no asking strangers for support or go fund me, the family took care of family. In my sphere, it's the "what do you want me to do" mentality. When my uncle's pump house blew down in a storm it was my father, my uncle, my other uncle and the kids who were out there taking things apart and rebuilding. State Farm had nothing to do with things just like when my dad wanted to pour concrete for a patio at our house. Saturday came around and there was my uncle, sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my father waiting for the cement truck. After the job was done, the beer came out of the refrigerator and the two sat on the driveway on a hot summer day with a cigarette and a beer. Now I'm sure there are families out there that still hold those values and I applaud them. It saddens me that I had to fight a war for over 30 years with one family member while the others walked away.