Calling in the Markers
I won’t, but it sure is a thought at times, calling in family markers. Trying to do things on your own, that is actually benefiting the family, and when you need help, it stands to reason that they would be there.
I don’t know what my mother would have done without my Grandparents, they were there through thick and thin till the day they passed on, I was very young at the time; but I remember their sacrifice. To my knowledge, they only took one vacation when I was a kid, now I remember my Grandfather when he began his retirement, and he passed when I was still just a kid; so my Grandparents had to of taken care of us for several years.
They were always there, feeding us, buying us shoes, clothes; and it didn’t have to be Christmas; they just knew my mother’s position in life. Always a house filled with love, and they showed their love everyday by their actions; now that is family.
Some say that you shouldn’t live life based on life lived years ago, I find that stupid, people were better then; so why not? I have loaned money to my daughter’s, if I have it, if they need it, they got it. No questions asked, no stipulations, it’s there; Why? Because my Grandparents were there for us! And, because I love them.
This past year has been tough, I don’t think I could give this year away if I paid someone to take it. Like the old car story, a guy put twenty dollars on the dash with a note that said take this car; someone took the twenty dollars and left the car.
But not costing the family much amounts to nothing these days, the same as feeding off the family means nothing these days; both are looked at as good reasons to walk away without the batting of a single eyelash. Leaving the rest of the eyelashes for more important things to buy or do, like the latest and greatest cars, bikes (Harley types) and gadgets.
These days everyone does everything for a reason, somewhere inside there is a reason, talking to friends and family, taking care of someone in the family looks good. But when my Grandmother needed help, my family band together, taking care of her till they had to put her in a home, albeit my uncle was cleaning out the garage, my Grandmother was taken care of all the same; and my mother, she ended up buying the little one bedroom house, with a converted back porch (my bedroom) and one bathroom from the family.
But the car, tools, belongings, all that good stuff went to the family, but we can’t forget the family feud.
One gift to the family that people rarely see, is acceptance, it’s simple, always an open door; no matter the faddish ways of they day, you are there. A friend of mine and I were getting coffee, there were people in the place like always, lip and nose rings, those big button ear things, parrot colored hair cuts in all kinds of fashions or scattered length; and one guy with most all that going on plus a kilt.
Me, sweats, t-shirt, and a Carhartt shirt, my friend, levis and a Carhartt hooded jacket. A little scruffy maybe, but no rings or nothing. But he is an old logger, I had years working for tractor companies, we were both doomed for the unfashionable side of life.
Kept looking at the people, we seemed so normal amongst the crowd, and that guy with the spiked beard, short cropped black hair, facial and earrings, black t-shirt, black stompers (boots) and his tan pleated kilt.
I looked at my friend, bit of a laugh, I said to him while we waited for our coffee: In some families, you and I would be a step-up! Even in some of the more conservative families, we might still be a step-up.
It’s the acceptance in the family that becomes a gift, not filled with glitter and bling, silent and nonassuming, always offering assistance regardless of use, willingness to go out of the way at any hour without much in the way of thanks; that’s family. The sad part, the Good of, the Giving of, the Loyal of life and family; they usually take it in the end.
The drama and competition, some family members detest it and stay clear of the drama and competition realities of family. That really is a gift, it’s something to emulate, not to ever be shunned; but it is. Oh we never talk to them, see them at Christmas and Easter is all, they don’t like us, they are so reclusive. Well, they might come around more if the love was honest and not self-serving, if the societal part of family was not so encompassing and dictating, if family values lasted more than a day or a weekend, if it meant more than a gift at Christmas.
All the Markers to be called, I wouldn’t even try to call them in, because they weren’t written down on paper. They came in the form of midnight calls for my mother, that lasted for years, no one else wanted to do it. It was a trip in the late hours to change a tire for a friend of the family that couldn’t stand me. It was being the tough guy, because the rest of my family was too dainty, all for a ring. It was in the caring for the dying, one person I could have easily walked away from had I not had my Faith, the other it was a life responsibility that had to be met and accepted. With two of those people, I was written out of their wills, no tears shed, their debts were still paid in full.
The putting up with family taught arrogance, taught more than respect is at times I might add. It’s the acceptance of seeing all the glory filled stories get attention that have no substantial truth to life and living, it’s the gossip and behind the back slander, and the acceptance of the same for gain.
Drama and competition, have seen enough in life and family, felt it’s siting as well as it’s bite, and I do not like it. This isn’t about just my family, it’s about so many families in this world that by choice or maybe they have no choice, but they wallow in the dysfunction of this new age normal; and the matriarch’s of the family, that feel they should be wearing the crowns, they shouldn’t!
The truth is, I have absolved all the Markers years ago, nothing owed, all debts were paid because their was never a bill. Don’t really care about the recognition amongst family and friends, so the Markers can simply be chalked up to a gift of life; I guess I can do this because my Grandparents cared for the family, and a lesson learned in a better day.