Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Reunion Is Over...


I don't know why I thought that this year might be different. Wishful thinking, I guess...

All in all, there was a good time to be had by all! Plenty of food, that's for sure! I have to admit that the women folk of my family can produce some of the most excellent tasting and pleasing snacks bar none!

All of the nieces and nephews were there, along with the grand nieces! Even though my sister from North Carolina couldn't be there, my baby sis was there! Quite a gal, my baby sis! She and her DH are active in their local theatre, she and my mom have recently joined the D.A.R., she is an excellent cook and can sew. In fact, baby sis and my mom and my sister in N.C. are all good cooks and craft folks! Pretty handy people to have around, especially at parties and reunions!

Lots of card games, picture taking, coffee talk at the patio table, all the things that make a get together a lot of fun!

However, there was a personal dark spot for me. The reason we hold the reunion at this time of year, is because it is close to my dad's birthday. Even though he has been gone for a long time, we get together to honor his memory!

You see, my family name is King. I was the only boy in a family of four children. All my sisters married and of course, their names changed when that happened. As the last male member of my family after my dad died, it was up to me and my two sons to carry on the family name!

That's sort of an archaic way of thinking, I guess, but I was proud of my family name. I'm still proud of my family name, but I am afraid that the pride will pass when I do. Neither of my sons share that pride and sense of family. Neither shows any wish to involve them selves in the mundane happening of the King family. The history of our family has no interest to them. The health and well being of the family members is of no concern for them. They have no interest in sharing the joy of making new memories, sharing the old ones, getting to know the cousins, in even being any part of our family...of MY family!

Because of this attitude, I never get to see my grand children. I have two that I have never seen, and probably never will ! The other I get to see when ever my oldest decides to bring her over, which isn't often.

There is a lot of irony in that situation, for sure. Here I am, an aging grand father beginning to realize that the twilight years of my life will be spent without the comfort and support of my only sons, without the loving visits of grand children I can tell stories to, without young ears to listen to the stories of family members and get togethers long past, without Christmas gatherings where the joy and excitement of children would act as a tonic to an old man!

Suddenly...I feel very old! Very old indeed! Just realizing my mortality, I guess! You know, there is a song by Frank Sinatra that seems appropriate at this time, if you don't mind!



Sorry, I didn't mean to get so moody today. Just the ramblings of an old man feeling his age, I reckon...

Now, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio, my friend. Don't mind me if I don't say too much today, alright?

30 comments:

Kyddryn said...

Oh, Mister Hermit, sir...

So you tell your stories here in the Blue Nowhere, where people you've never met love you and cherish your tales. Your sons carry your genes, and we carry your stories, and it all comes together in the end.

I am often melancholy at the thought I'll never have a daughter. You see...while males carry family names...females carry (and pass on) the mitochondrial DNA. A child will ALWAYS have it's mother's mitochondrial DNA. I am the last female of my mother's line - no daughter, the mitochondrial DNA dies with me...my mother, her mother, back and back through generations...all die with me. That makes me, for some reason, terribly sad.

Still - I have the Evil Genius and I love him madly and if my line dies with me, it dies with me...I can hope my stories and songs will live on, anyway...

I wonder, though, what sort of life your sons have, so rootless. It never ceases to amaze me how people disconnect themselves from their history, as if they don't carry it in their bones.

Their loss, sir, is our gain.

As for being moody...really, do you need reminding that this is YOUR blog, Mister Hermit, sir?? If you want to tap-dance naked across it, that's your prerogative...although you might warn a body should you choose to do that so she doesn't spill her beverage on the keyboard...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

HermitJim said...

Hey Kyddryn...
Your comment gives me warmth and comfort, believe me.I draw strength from my blogging friends like you.

The joy I find in my online friends replaces the joy that I may never know from distant family...

If you don't mind, though, ast this time I will hold of on the dancing in the buff on the blog...even my friends may not be quite ready for that!

Thanks, dear lady, for both your visit and the words to warm ny heart.

vlad said...

It is here that I find interesting people. Because we are anonymous we all speak from the heart. God bless you all.
I was lonely before Saint Algore invented the internet.

Sue said...

Jim, it's too bad your sons are like this.....they are certainly missing out on a fine man with a gift of gab.
I wouldn't ever give up on them though. Though I don't often speak of it, my own son and I spent years not speaking, and have only been brought back together recently. And now, I'm on my way to Mesa to visit my very first grandson. So don't ever ever stop trying. You just never know.......

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I can´t understand people that sort of steel childrens grandparents away from them! It´s so impotant to have them around growing up. My grandmother was the rock in our family and we could always go to her if we had some problems nedeing to be solved. I can just hope that things will get better later on in Your grandchildrens life, so You´ll get the chance to tell them Your stories!

I unfortunally grew up with a mother that was almost handicapped in the kitchen :-) She even failed with making Swedish meatballs :-) Almost everything she touched became a disaster when it came to food .-) :-) But she did on the other hand all repairs in our home and she could fix most things with our car :-)

Nowdays she´s much better with food, but sort of has lost the fixing abilities instead.
Have a great day now!
Christer.

Rae said...

Reunions are good to catch up with family, but I think they do make us a little wistful. Family bonds are not like they used to be. The sense of kinship is lost.

I certainly understand your feeling of sadness from the separation from your sons. It has been years since I last saw my son or grandson. Although I have moved on with my life, I feel his absence daily. I don't allow myself to dwell on it though. Some emotions can never be put behind us.

I hope that one day you have a chance for a grand reunion that includes your sons and grandchildren.

bigunsfan said...

Greetings Hermit Jim,

Have you ever thought about writing down your family history for your grandchildren?

My great-aunt is the family history expert,88 years old and still going strong!She's posted a ton of our family's history on the MOGenWeb.

Check this out:
http://www.genweb.org/

Here's where my family's history survives :
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostone/stone.htm

Maybe your grandchildren will develop an interest for you family history,you never know,I'm sure they'd appreciate anything you write for them.

I think it's really neat to see pictures of my great great great grandma on the internet.

Take care.

Mattias Kroon said...

So, I am not the first swede to comment here today:)

Well, Jim, about relations....
This isn´t always easy and there can be a lot of strange attitudes and irony to make this difficult.One can only wish that there may be a turning point somewhere around the next corner....

JoJo said...

Good morning MY Special One,
I am sorry for this sorrow you feel.
You and I have spoken about our families, so you know I have a son that thinks nothing of the hurt he causes his own children. It is heart breaking for us but we must go on like Rae has said. We have our own private hell we live. Yes someday they will realize what wrongs they have brought to others at least we can hope. Maybe then they will try to make amends. Be at peace my friend for there are those who love you.

edifice rex said...

I'm sorry Jim. I enjoy visiting you and hearing your stories. I have no family of my own and don't see my siblings and their family much at all, so I often feel kinda like a hermit too!

Did it MY way said...

Jim;
Sorry.

Don't give up on the boys. Perhaps writting the grand kids could help?

You have a ton of friends here on the net with wide shoulders, so get moody when you want.

Love ya brother. Pour me another cup.

See Ya

Off Grid Terlingua said...

Jim, you got enough sympathy from the friends here who are equiped. Im sorry, I'm the type to look on the bright side of things and say" The next life is a new birth where all the wrongs in this one will not even be a memory. Be happy with the positives you got now. And start dreaming of what life will be." Cowboy Up! smile and laugh in the face of adversity it wont change things but how you feel. Now I know some here might think I'm being insensitive. But Im just that guy that says what I think might help the most and it isnt always right or politically correct. Its straight from the hip. I hope you can respect it, for its intentions. Jim your a good man but you dont need anyone to tell you that.

HermitJim said...

Hey Vlad...
I think the internet has provided a lot of us a place to meet and discuss, to vent, and often to bare our souls a bit. Like you said, it's easier to be open with our web friends than anyone else, and I find a lot of comfort there!

I really appreciate you coming by today!


Hey Sue...
That is so great that you and your son are back together...and the fact that you can see your grandson is a blessing indeed!

Sometimes things in life have a way of working themselves out...I hope mine does, but am glad your's is now.

Thanks so much for the visit today, Sue!


Hey Christer...
It's funny how some of us are blessed with different talents, isn't it?

I'm a pretty fair cook, but food always seems better when someone else fixes it. I'm happy that your mom is getting better in the kitchen, though.

It's great that you could drop in today. Thank you!


Hey Rae...
Like you said, we have to move on, regardless of the circumstances!

A grand reunion would be nice some day, but in the meantime, I enjoy the time I have with the rest of the family.

I am always glad when you drop by to visit, Rae...!


Hey Bigunsfan...
It's always a good thing when at least one member of the family can put together a portion of the family for future generations. I think that being able to follow a portion of your family roots can give us a good feeling of continuity at times.

Thanks for the links...and the idea. I may have to start another web site just for family history!

Hey, I appreciate the visit!


Hey Mattias...
I'm pleased that I have you and Christer that visit from Sweden...

That sort of thing just proves to me that we are all connected, even though separated by many miles and borders!

We just have to keep looking for that silver lining, have to keep hanging on to hope...but as you said, there might just be a turning point just around the corner!

Thanks for coming by today, my friend!


Hey JoJo...
I am so glad you are here today! You and I have a lot of things in common, don't we?

I think we should all have a big get together and build a big fire, have a few drinks, and celebrate the fact that we are alive and well! Never hurts to be able to celebrate life with a few good friends!

Sweetie, I sure do thank you for coming by!


Hey Rex...
I'm always glad when you are able to come for a visit!

As a part of my expanding family, I am proud to have you as a visitor and a new friend. I'm much richer for it, believe me!

I sure do thank you for coming by...and please consider us all as a part of your larger family, OK?


Hey Tony...
Good to see you, buddy! You know that as long as i have you guys, I'm doing better than a lot of people for sure!

Another cup coming up, my friend! Thanks for stopping in today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Off Grid...
That's the nicest things about friends...they can tell you what they think is the best thing for you. They don't feel the need to tell you anything but the truth, and when anyone speaks the truth how can it be anything but a good thing...?

I find that many times, just getting it off my chest is a good way to put it behind me and move on to more positive things, just like you said!

Some day we'll sit around the fire pit together and share a cup of coffee as neighbors...after all, distance doesn't have much meaning in the desert, right?

Appreciate you dropping by today, buddy! See you next visit!

CoyotePrime said...

HermitJim, your post reminded me so much of my own quite dysfunctional "family." I've realized as I got older that some things are simply the way they are, and will never change, they just have to be accepted and dealt with. But the sadness is till there, no matter how carefully we hide it. But the post also reminded me of a quote from Richard Bach: "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof..."
Odd, but I've found others online I'd be proud to claim as kin, even if we never mention it. Funny, isn't it, how our online friends can be closer to us than our biological relatives? But it's true...
Thanks for sharing such a personal matter with us.

HermitJim said...

Hey Coyote...
I wonder sometimes if maybe the reason that we can feel so close to our online friends, is that we can open up and let out some tings that we nay not care to share in a face to face with our "real life" family.

Whatever it is, I do indeed know the feeling you speak of, and I'm thankful for it every day!

Thanks so much for the visit today...

TEAM HALL said...

I am so very sorry about your boys, Jim!! That makes me very sad! You are such a sweet man...your grandkids are missing out on soooo much!!! I would give my right arm to have such a wonderful grandparent WANT to have a relationship with us...you see I have it the other way around...a parent who could give 2 craps about our little ones. Funny isn't it?!
It's okay, we don't need to talk today...but a big ole squeeze might help!!

HermitJim said...

Hey Cath...
Hugs are always welcomed at my house! I figure that if I don't need them right this minute, I will need them later! Can't ever have too many!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Felinae said...

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves”--Edna Buchanan

Good day,

Here is a big hug for you (((Uncle Hermit)))

I think the above quote kind of says it all.

I hope you have a good day today and ya never know, your sons might surprise you one of these days. :D

Hugs~n~Smiles
~Felinae~

HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
Glad you dropped in and thank you for this quote! You're right, it just about says it all!

Any day I wake up on the right side of the grass is a good one! Thanks so much for coming by and for the comments.

JoJo said...

Look at all the love pouring out here for you. We are all truely family here. We are the Blog's
So here is a BUG HUG for you my sweet. And smile for all this love pouring out for you it will make your heart feel better.

Diane said...

Hey now, you are not alone. I am also in the same predicament as you. Each generation's views on heritages differ. The children of today are too busy and their lives and it is all that matters to them...it's a shame but it is what it is. I am thinking of making my own memory book of sorts and when I'm gone, I hope someone in the family will read it and pass it along.
Till then we do what we need too and L-I-V-E!
I think I will have that cup of coffee now!

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
It's always nice to have friends, isn't it? I'll take that hug from ya and maybe give you back a few in return...!

Thanks for coming by again, sweetie!


Hey Diane...
Guess we were like that when we were younger, but I don't remember!

Like you, I'm thinking that a memory book might be a good thing. Who knows, could be that someone will get a hold on it some day and get some good reading out of it.

Hey, thanks for coming by today, my friend!

Bullseye said...

Uncle Jim, I wish I could say something, anything to ease your pain my friend. The words fail me. Just know that you have a BIG family that you have never met that loves you and all your stories. We know the importance of family like you and are proud to have you as part of ours.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bullseye...
Proud to be a part of it, buddy! I know that this family will be the one that has my back, just as I have theirs!

Nice to have folks out there we can count on, ya know?

Thanks so much for coming by and know that I appreciate it, my friend!

plainolebob said...

one ole man to another you betcha

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
Guess we are all in the same boat, one way or another, huh?

Thanks for coming by today!

Sage said...

Never say never, you don't know what the future holds and maybe, just maybe they and their children will come back into your life. It is a missing gap for them too, no stories of them as children, or memories of their grandfather or you as a young man... wishing you a good cup of coffee with sunshine to wash it down.

houstonmom said...

My heart goes out to you. I hope your sons have a change of heart. You're not alone, so many families are experiencing the same thing. My children have never met one of their grandmothers. I have tried to fill the gap with other older people in our lives... on a regular basis.

When I was growing up I had a ton of aunts, uncles, great aunts/uncles, cousins. It is not that way anymore. We are too spread out. I'm sad that my kids do not know my cousins. BIG problem in our world.

I've tried to fill our lives instead with relational family. We've developed family that have no blood relation and become very close to one older couple. It works for them b/c they never had children and it works for us b/c we have extra grandparents. It takes commitment on both sides. Maybe there are young couples with kids around you who need the same thing? I know it would not take the longing away to know your grandkids, but maybe it would benefit a couple who needs your wisdom.

Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

My condolences sir, fwiw, its their loss too, their Dad / Grand Dad is quite a guy from what I've read. Maybe things can be turned around? A phone call / email / letter perhaps?