As a child I spent many hours dreaming of the type of family I’d have when I had my own. It would be a little of the Waltons, touched with a bit of Happy Days, and blessed by angels like in Highway to Heaven. We’d live in a big house with a white picket fence. The house would be filled with love, laughter, music and reading. I’d have a home, not a house. I had it all plotted out.
What I got was completely opposite.
Insecurities, bad choices along the way, marriages to two men who were not my best friend, the tragic death of the one man who was… Through all of that, I had four beautiful children, children that I dreamed would be best friends, confidants, tight, unwavering in their love for one another. Again, I shake my head in sadness at what went wrong. While wonderful and dynamic as individuals, as a family unit, my plot fell apart. They are not close. They rarely speak to one another. One lives on one side of the country, the other is a traveler. One still lives at home and another is floundering, making wrong, unhealthy decisions. They are all adults. My molding, plotting years are over.
Sadly, I can’t pick up an eraser and fix the plot line. My childhood dream of the perfect family gave way to a different one, a different set of circumstances, six individuals who have failed to connect to one another on an intimate, personal level. As I lay in bed last night pondering the most recent events, I wondered where I went wrong, and if given the power to go back and fix the story, would I be able to find where the plot line strayed.
I don’t have the answers, but there is one thing the writer in me has taught me about life. As characters in the book of life, poop happens. Lots and lots of poop happens. We are tortured, tested, made to laugh, made to cry. How we face the antagonists in our lives determines who we are and where we go. While I would love to scribble ‘happy happy’ on everyone I love, I am not in charge of their destiny. Their story is their own. I cannot provide a happy ending for them. I can provide one for me. All I can do is hope and pray our stories are entwined somewhere down the road and we all end up together in a great big white house with a white picket fence, in a home filled with love.
It is a dream I have. My family ‘plot’.
- Is Your Family Dysfunctional? (healthbistro.lifescript.com)
- Is There Such Thing As A Happy Family? (dontletthemchangeya.wordpress.com)
- Books For People Struggling with Dysfunctional Families (cherilynclough.com)